Answers to problems in the Ugly Islands

Three pages in this series: answers, problems and teachers have a different background colour. These are the pages a student should not be accessing.
In time I plan to hide this page, and will provide the URL to teachers requesting it.

As you will realise, once you start exploring the islands, there are many problems facing the islanders, problems in which they would appreciate your input. This page serves to link you up with some of the suggested answers to those problems.

In time, we may need to get a list going to handle the discussions, but for now, all you have to do is e-mail your answers to Peter Macinnis at, and he will post them to this page. Please quote the heading to the problem as your subject, and keep it brief.

The main thing to remember is that most problems have been faced before, so sometimes, the best thing you can do is look around for similar situations in other places. At the very least, this may help the islanders to avoid making the same mistakes as somebody else, and you have to remember that they are relying on you to provide advice and solutions.

Major problems


There are already some rough plans in place to deal with the rabbit problem on Green island (better known to locals as "The Plug"), but they are not sure that they have all of the answers yet. Read through the data, explore a few of the key words ("rabbit", "calicivirus", "myxomatosis") on the Web, and see what sort of a solution you can suggest.

Hint for Web searches: there is an island just off Norfolk Island, called Phillip Island, which was "seeded" with rabbits in 1788 or 1789, and finally cleared of rabbits in the mid-1990s. The "myxo" fleas were sent in in glass bottles attached to arrows, so that they glass shattered on impact, releasing the fleas. Also, in 1999, shooters with dogs were brought in from New Zealand to clear the goats which have been damaging large parts of Lord Howe Island.

Back to the problems

Jean Grey's ideas for tourist attractions

Jean Grey proposes selling tickets to tourists who want to attend the boatpulling, and running the boatpulling throughout the year.

Read up on the boatpulling, and what it means to the people of the islands, both the adults and the children. Do they want to be quaint natives, living in a theme park? Would it take away the magic of a once-a-year procedure if it happened every month? Who would bear the costs, who would get the profits?

It's just as well we don't run around, treating the inhabitants of places where we go on holiday as though they are theme park exhibits, isn't it?

Back to the problems

New harbours

There are no harbours along the south coast of Big Ugly. With the break-up of the former Soviet Union, the Council has been offered access to several "tactical" (that is, low yield) nuclear warheads from somebody who appears to be well-connected with certain eastern military forces.

Think fall-out, leakage into the groundwater, damage to the fisheries, economic loss, argue whether there is a need for ports in such a place.

Back to the problems


Take any single issue like the question of the language spoken on the islands. There are 300 words used other than English. What sorts of words would these be?

Back to the problems


In general, the whole of the background is a minefield of questions large and small -- like: what was going on in 1848, to flush people out of Europe? How did it affect our ancestors, this 1848 business?

Back to the problems


And what about these diseases which reduced the population -- why were the diseases so much more of a problem on islands, and which other islands were affected? (We know they were more of a problem on islands, because no large populations suffered like that. Try investigating Ponape, now called Pohnpei, for starters.) Another possibility may be looking at isolated populations on Tristan da Cunha, or in the Antarctic, or on Pitcairn Island.

Back to the problems

More complete solutions:

Don't be too impatient! I need suggested solutions first -- where are yours?

Simple problems


Problem: Using the outline maps that are available, create the completest possible map.

Suggestions: divide up the files between members of a group, and search for map-relevant information in the files you are reading. Note down what you find, and then use the available evidence to draw the map, keeping in mind that there may be conflicts that you will need to resolve.

Back to the problems

Hairyoddity farming

Think about other species, and find what hairyoddities eat, as well as what eats them. Can they be confined to particular Uglets? Back to the problems

Misprint mischief

By now you should have realised that the misprints which appear in The Islander are no coincidence. Choose somebody and create some new and alarming misprints about them, keeping in mind that the newspaper is read by young children, and send them in -- we will pass them on to the paper's staff. There are a few examples in the paper's apologies column, just to get you started.

From here, you can go to the

© Copyright Peter Macinnis, for The Ugly Islands Council,
free use allowed under the conditions listed in TEACHERS.htm
Leaving out the hairyoddities (who have apparently gained some form of cyber presence), you are visitor number

Last revised March 6, 2007.

This site is owned by Peter Macinnis, but if you want to email me, stick my first name in front of that or I may miss you!!