Contest #792 – Howland Island, Middle of nowhere, United States Minor Outlying Islands

Because of the politically derived eccentricities of the International Date Line, Howland island is the westernmost land situated east of the IDL. This puts this island and nearby Baker Island into a timezone by themselves that is 12 full hours *behind* UTC. This time zone is somethimes referred to as “Anywhere On Earth” or “AOW” — a reference to the fact that a date ends “anywhere on earth” when it ends on Howland Island (or Baker Island). The other implication of this is that when 2022 ended last Saturday at midnight on that island, it ended “anywhere on earth”.

In the mid 1930’s it was proposed to make the island a stopover for trans-pacific flights, and the US Works Progress Administration built a runway on which Amelia Erhart and Fred Noonan were scheduled to land on the day they disappeared. The navigational beacon in the picture above was built after their loss and is named the “Erhart Light”

The island remains uninhabited and is protected as a Wildlife Refuge since the 1970s.

Those who didn’t miss the island before the hint:

  • Paul Voestermans
  • Garfield
  • Martin de Bock
  • hhgygy
  • Graham Hedley
  • Eloy Cano
  • Lighthouse
  • CuriousJM
  • Andreas Meister
  • Phil Ower
  • Gillian B

and after the hint:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Bas van Limpt