Places With Names That Have Deeper Backstories Behind Them

It’s kind of like how you get a nickname: you do something strange and then your friends give you a nickname based on the story even though it makes no sense to outsiders.

The names of places are often pretty transparent, but others have backstories that make them a little more interesting (or extremely terrifying).

They Don’t Look Disappointing…

Outrigger Canoes On white sand Beach
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images

This island pictured here as well as a few others located in French Polynesia are called the Disappointment Islands. They were first named “Unfortunate Islands” by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan while he was traveling toward the Philippines because he was disappointed to find that none of them had visible sources of fresh water.

In 1765, a British naval officer provided an even less positive moniker, declaring two of the coral islets in question—Napuka and Tepoto—to be the “Disappointment Islands,” because he deemed the inhabitants to have shown “a hostile disposition” towards him.