On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami wreaked havoc on our planet – ultimately claiming the lives of over 230,000 individuals across 14 different nations. And so it was that, three days after the tragedy, an Indian government helicopter flew over the Bay of Bengal in order to scan North Sentinel Island for signs of life. Then the crew saw a lone figure come into view on the beach. But that solitary tribesman only jabbed his bow and arrow defiantly at the passing aircraft. The message was clear: the “lost” Sentinelese tribe had somehow survived, and its people did not want help from anyone.
Perhaps this turn of events should have come as no surprise to the authorities. After all, the Sentinelese people have long made clear their desire to be left alone. Yet the tribe is actually settled in what was among the worst locations in the Indian Ocean during one of written history’s deadliest natural disasters. Surely a tragedy such as this would convince the tribespeople that they needed assistance.