The first European explorers who stopped at this island in the Indian ocean located off the coast of Fremantle, observed that the place was infested with rats, so they named it "Rattenest", which in Dutch means "rat's nest". What they didn't know then was that there were hardly any rats living on the island, and the animal they mistook for a rat was, in fact, a marsupial called "quokka".
Quokka, although failed to give its name to the island due to the ignorance of the Dutch explorers, is a famous animal in Australia. It may not be as much as "Kangaroo" or "Koala", but you can find many restaurants, shops, roads and even newspapers named after this animal here in Down Under.
Coming back to the story of the island, it later came to be known as Rottnest Island or Rotto, and now is a major tourist attraction in Western Australia. Famous for its pristine beaches, lighthouses, ship wrecks, second world war era naval canon and a look out post. It even boasts a small settlement with a resident community.
But, there is something above all of that that makes Rottnest so remarkable. Oblivious of what it really is, yet guided by an instinctive feeling, back in 2009 I set out in search of this enigma.
To be continued...