Having grown up fairly near the infamous Isle of Sheppey in Kent, jokes about island folk being a bit inbred has always been a gag that keeps on giving. To return to the example of Sheppey, there was even an entire website (www.sheppeyscum.com) that was basically all about the island being full of inbred criminals. I digress. But not really.
Many years passed and I didn’t give much thought to genetically compromised island-dwellers (except those of the Caymans, where I once lived) until the whole Pitcairn scandal surfaced. For anyone not aware: long story short, pretty much a third of the island got locked up for being nonces (Brit-speak for ‘paedophile’, and one of our finest native insults). I thought that Pitcairn had pretty much reached the apotheosis for island-based sexual deviancy, but I hadn’t yet heard of Palmerston Island.
Palmerston Island: the Craster’s Keep of the Pacific
Palmerston Island is a part of the Cook Islands, which in turn is sorta part of New Zealand. To say it’s a bit remote would be an understatement: it takes days to reach here by ship, and there are only around two ships a year. There’s limited electricity and internet, leaving two major pastimes: fishing and banging.
Originally discovered by Captain James T Kirk, it was given as a gift to a chap called William Marsters. Mr. Marsters brought his Polynesian wife and her two sisters to live with him on the island. Quite how this conversation went is unknown, so we’re forced to assume it went like this:
“Hey, fancy moving to a deserted island?”
“Can we bring your two sisters?”
“Hmmm… bit of a weird request. You’re not gonna try to fuck them, are you?”
“The thought had never crossed my mind.”
The curious case of all the incest ever
In a plot twist of Shymalanamanlanian proportions, Marsters promptly fucked his sisters-in-law and eventually married them, polygamy presumably not being a crime on an island with no government or police force.
Marsters now has over 1000 descendants worldwide, and in a factoid that will shock nobody given the above, every single person on Palmerston is his direct descendant.
Despite the well-documented biological drawbacks of incest, however, the Marsters descendants are doing incredibly well. You could even say that they’re really coming into their own.