Known as Rabbit Island, Okunoshima in Japan was originally used as the secret base for the Japanese Imperial Army’s lethal gas operation during WW2. From 1929 to 1945, more than 6,000 tons of poison gas were manufactured on the remote island, and the program was shrouded in secrecy. For approximately 16-years, Okunoshima was not seen on any map, and workers who produced the five types of poison gas – which were mostly used in warfare in China – were told to keep the factories a secret. Continue reading for another video and more information.
During those 16-years, rabbits were introduced at one point and – as the species tend to do – they bred fast. Some say they were brought to the island to test the effects of the poison and released by workers when the war ended. However, others claim that a group of schoolchildren on a field trip released eight of the animals in 1971. Now tourists flock to the 2.5 mile wide Inland Sea island off the coast of Takehara to visit the animals.