Telegraph Island

Khasab, Oman

Telegraph Island

Telegraph Island (also known as Arabic: جزيرة تليغراف‎, Jazīrat al Maqlab, and Şaghīr) is located in the Elphinstone Inlet or Khor Ash Sham, the inner inlet of Khasab Bay, less than 400 meters off the shore of the Musandam Peninsula, and less than 500 meters south of much larger but also much lesser known Sham Island, both of which are parts of the Sultanate of Oman. It is 160 meters long, and up to 90 meters wide, yielding an area of 1.1 hectares. The name as "Telegraph" comes from the telegraph-cable repeater station built on the island in 1864.

The inlet at the island is a fjord surrounded by high mountains, with notable geology in the rock strata which dip downwards under the immense pressures caused by the Arabian tectonic plate meeting (and subducting beneath) the Eurasian plate. In the 19th century, it was the location of a British repeater station used to boost telegraphic messages along the Persian Gulf submarine cable (see below), which was part of the London to Karachi telegraphic cable. It was not an easy posting for the operators, with the severe summer heat and hostility of local tribes making life extremely uncomfortable. Because of this, the island is, according to some travel agents and journalists, where the expression "go round the bend" comes from, a reference to the heat making British officers desperate to return to civilisation, which meant a voyage around the bend in the Strait of Hormuz back to India.

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