Over the next century, Skull's Island proved a favorable destination for curious sailors, explorers, and notable figures. Mark Twain visited the island, and so too did Theodore Roosevelt. In time the name was shortened to Skull Island, and stories and legends began traveling the globe. Some said Captain Skull's ghost haunted the island, or that it was full of savage natives. One popular rumor even suggested that Skull Island was full of animated skeletons. This was not true, as Skull Island was almost exclusively for skulls and not other bones.
During World War II Skull Island was briefly converted into a naval station, but the incalculable mass of skulls covering the landscape made it impractical for any real use. Still, the few structures built by the United States Navy later served as a basis for further settlements.
New Skull Town flourished in the 1950s, with its exotic restaurants and art shops. Visitors came to observe the harrowing sight of millions of skulls while sipping cocktails out of skulls and purchasing quaint sculptures (skullptures as they were marketed as) made out of skulls.
Unfortunately, this rabid tourism led to extensive over-mining of the skulls. The once mountainous piles of skulls began to dwindle in size, revealing an extraordinarily mundane tropical paradise. With skulls growing ever scarcer and harder for private citizens to obtain, the island's population began to shrink.
The growing economic and social crisis led to decades of political instability, with new leaders claiming power on an almost yearly basis thanks to a strange system of voting. Meanwhile, greedy private interests like the Skull Island Reclamation Company vied for control of the island's remaining skulls, threatening the wealth and wellbeing of the common citizen.
Together with Colonel Crabb, Skull Island's notoriously-unstable ruler from 1969-1974, the Skull Island Reclamation Company succeeded in selling off the last of the island's most vital resource: human skulls. With the profits, they planted trees, vegetables, fruits, imported livestock, and built infrastructure, destroying the economy and cultural history of the island in the process.
In the 1980s, Prince Rutherford Conch, the self-proclaimed ruler of the newly-christened Skull Island Principality, succeeded in turning the island into a tax haven and center for money laundering. He was voted out of office after an unsuccessful bid to buy all of Cambodia's skulls in hopes of restoring Skull Island to its former glory.
Numerous schemes to restore the ecology of Skull Island have been proposed, but none address the issue of supply. Acquiring enough human skulls to cover an entire island is a daunting logistical challenge, not to mention a potential ethical liability.
Much to the ire of its few remaining residents, Skull Island remains alive and green, with lush plants, trees, and grasses covering every inch of space. While it is now capable of fully supporting life, many residents of Skull Island long for the return of the golden days, when any one man could have to himself a gigantic pile of skulls.
As Captain Skull wrote in his journal on November 2nd, 1830, "Here in Skull Town the only currency is skulls, and each one of us men is rich beyond our wildest dreams. That is the promise of an island with millions of skulls."
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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