The far-away island has a history as volatile as its volcanic origins. While inhabited originally by Ainu natives, the island quickly became a bone of contention between Japan and Russia. After World War Two, however, Japan renounced its claim and ceded it to Soviet forces.
Via All That Is Interesting: The Unique History Of Urup Island, Russia
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If the stoic island above looks uninhabited, it’s because it most likely is. While Bjarnarey comprises one part of the Vestmann Islands, due to a horrendous 1973 volcano eruption, all denizens of the quaint township were forced to evacuate and move to Iceland’s mainland for several months.
Via All That Is Interesting: Bjarnarey, Iceland: A Bucolic Paradise