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 The Island of Filfla

Filfla is 5km away from the coast of Malta. Nowadays it is a natural reserve and it is prohibited to lay foot on the Island. Only some scientists get permission to land. Even though it has a circumference of 800m, Filfla's history is quite fascinating. Unfortunately it has been used for target practice by the english navy in the past so it is littered with unused bomb shells. It was also hit by a strong earthquake in the 1800's and half of the Island perished under sea. With it perished the only known structure ever built on the Island, a chapel where mass was held for fisherman fishing in he area.

I heard stories that when lepracy was hitting the mainland, a man took his family to live on Filfla. One other very interesting theory that I heard was that signs of cart ruts where present on the Island.

Filfla is surrounded by 60m high cliffs, forming a plateau on the top which is green even in the driest summer months. Before the earthquake, fisherman remember a natural spring on the Island. Since the Island is so much isolated, the eco system is quite unique hosting a variety of fauna, insects and lizards. The most well known is the endemic black lizard, who's cousins found in Malta are smaller. Various species of birds including gulls, shearwater and petrels breed on the Island and it is not uncommon to spot a large number of herons perched on the cliffs in the summer months.

A view of Filfla from Dingli Cliffs
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