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Inside 'most crowded place on earth' where all 1,200 people who live there are related

Inside 'most crowded place on earth' where all 1,200 people who live there are related

The island has just 97 houses and four roads

There's a saying that neighbours are like family, but the 'most crowded place on Earth' takes the sentiment quite literally.

The man-made island, which is located off the coast of Bolívar Department in Colombia, is said to be the most overly-populated place in the world, with hundreds of people packed into an area that's just over 2.4 acres.

It features just 97 homes across 10 neighbourhoods, all kitted out with tin roofs, and is so small, it's easier to walk or take a boat than drive from one side of the island to the other.

In fact, you couldn't drive along any of the island's four roads even if you wanted to — it's a place free of cars.

The island is called Santa Cruz del Islote, and is home to 1,200 people, all of whom come from just 45 families.

There's also no police presence.

But that's not an issue for the tight-knit community of Santa Cruz del Islote. The island is said to be so safe that nobody locks up their doors and crime has never been reported there.

Residents, however, do follow a pretty strict and strange lifestyle.

To start, the dead are buried on a nearby island due to the lack of space, and there are no toilets or sewage.

And the island has no electrical grid, but a power generator and two solar stations provide it with electricity.

There is no running water either. The majority of islanders still utilise the sea and the only means of bringing in drinking water is via boat from the mainland.

This water delivery is set to be brought each week, but months often go by without it arriving, according to The Independent.

Islanders face similar issues with waste collection, which is meant to be collected weekly but often went untouched for almost a month before they took it into their own hands and have it shipped off to a neighbouring island.

The 1,200 islanders of Santa Cruz del Islote follow a strict and strange lifestyle and come from just 45 families.
Luciano Lejtman/Getty Images

And, a single medical centre takes care of the entire population, with just one nurse on duty.

A doctor visits every two weeks, but if there's an emergency, everyone must club together to rent a boat to the mainland - that is assuming a boat is available to use, of course.

Many families on the island make a living from fishing, but Santa Cruz del Islote residents have also designed a clever way to attract tourists.

Thousands of people are said to visit the island each year to enjoy swimming with local wildlife, and islanders also spread awareness about the urgent need to save sea turtles.

Adrian Caraballo de Hoyos, the leader of ecological group 'Saviours of the Reef,' told the BBC: "We all look after the limited resources that we have.

"We check the fishermen's boats each day to see what they've caught."

Featured Image Credit: Luciano Lejtman/Getty Images/Pierrick Lemaret/Getty Images

Topics: World News