Not to be confused with eyelet.
For the Welsh indie band, see Islet (band). For human anatomy, see Islets of Langerhans.
Bàngchuí Island in Dalian, Liaoning, China is a typical rock islet
Mōkōlea Rock in Kailua Bay, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i, 2.2 km off North Beach, Marine Corps Base Hawaii

An islet is a very small island.


Danes on the islet Danmark in Norway. It is a typical Nordic skerry.

As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle",[1] use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability.

Synonymous terms

A Tahitian motu off the island of Raiatea at sunset

In international law

Islets involved in ICJ cases
Filfla (1985)

Whether an islet is considered a rock or not can have significant economic consequences under Article 121 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which stipulates that "Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf." One long-term dispute over the status of such an islet was that of Snake Island (Black Sea).[2][3][4]

The International Court of Justice jurisprudence however sometimes ignores islets, regardless of inhabitation status, in deciding territorial disputes; it did so in 2009 in adjudicating the Romania-Ukraine dispute, and previously in the dispute between Libya and Malta involving the islet of Filfla.[2][5]

List of islets

There are thousands of islets on Earth: approximately 24,000 islands and islets in the Stockholm archipelago alone. The following is a list of example islets from around the world.


  1. Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, 1958
  2. 1 2 Coalter G. Lathrop (July 22, 2009) "Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)". American Journal of International Law, Vol. 103. SSRN 1470697
  3. Ukraine, Romania spar over islet, UPI 2006-7-14
  4. Romania and Ukraine avoid rocky horror show, Euronews, 03/02/09
  5. Hance D. Smith (1991). The Development of Integrated Sea Use Management. Taylor & Francis. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-415-03816-4.


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