The mysterious islet called Filfla

As reported in Times of Malta, an antique map of Malta has been discovered in a German library dating back to 1798 – the same year when Napoleon occupied the island. The map includes Filfla, the not-so-widely known islet that is part of the Maltese archipelago.

Filfla islet

Image source: http://www.viewingmalta.com/

This  uninhabited area is located just off the south-west of Malta and stepping a foot on it is firmly forbidden. Being only 6 hectares in size, it qualifies as an islet rather than an island. Filfla is the home of some unique animals that cannot be found worldwide, such as the Filfla Wall Lizard (Podarcis filfolensis filfolensis) which has a dark, blackish base colour covered with light blue spots. On the recently found map this little mysterious islet is displaying a chapel along with a fort and a monastery which are believed to have been destroyed  in an earthquake in 1856.

The islet used to have a different shape than it is today and was also slightly larger before it became a target practice location for the British navy during their presence in Malta between  1813 – 1964. Fishing nearby the island is also prohibited in fear of any unexploded artillery remaining at the bottom of the sea. Nowadays it remains a mysterious little rock in the middle of the sea that you can easily spot from Dingli Cliffs.

 

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