Where is Gilligan's Island located?

In order not to hijack the other thread on the possible inbreeding of future generations of the castaways on Gilligan’s Island, I decided to start a new one. The question is, where was the Island located?

If you go to the Professor’s website at http://www.russell-johnson.com/ you will see an interesting map that situates Gilligan’s Island about half-way between Hawaii and the equator, or about 1400 kilometres south-east of Hawaii.

By the way, some of the postings on the other thread assume that the Island must have been about 1.5 hours by small boat from Hawaii, presumably based on the known fact that the castaways set out on a three-hour cruise.

We must immediately reject this hypothesis for the following reason. Gilligan’s Island could manifestly NOT have been the original destination of the S.S. Minnow, because it was, as the song states, an “uncharted desert isle”.

In other worsds, the Skipper could not have been heading for an island he did not know existed.

Come to think of it, how do we even know the Minnow left a port in Hawaii? The song says only “a tropic island port”. If anyone has any evidence of that port being in Hawaii, from one of the episodes, please inform me.

The map on the Professor’s site is apparently the result of research done by someone named Kurt Gearheart. If you will google him, you will see that there is a photographer in Santa Fe NM by that name. But the google also shows that he has contributed to locating little-known tropical islands such as Palm Key in Florida. So I suspect it is the same guy.

I would love to know how he determined that G.I. is 1400 km from Hawaii.

Let’s review the known facts.

The Minnow was blown off course by a violent storm. The weather started getting rough. The tiny ship was tossed. I understand that if it were not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost.

We have no idea when the weather suddenly turned. Also, a storm can blow a ship around in circles, or in straight lines, or whatever.

But if we assume that a small motorized boat blown around in a storm could drift maybe 100 km a day in a given direction, and if we assume that the Minnow was blown in a straight line all the way to the location proposed by Gearhart, it becomes necessary for the tiny ship to have been tossed in a violent storm that lasted for 14 days, until it finally hit a reef around Gilligan’s Island, which punched a hole in its side. It then ran aground (maybe in a storm surge) to rest on the beach as we saw it eachweek on the credits.

Now then, as the opening shots make clear, Gilligan and the Skipper were barely able to keep the ship afloat with superhuman effort. If they had to keep this up for 14 days, they would have died of exhaustion!

There are many recorded cases of sailors dying after fighting a storm for extended periods. One of the most famous is Martin Pinzon, who captained the Pinta in 1492 and accompanied Columbus on his first Atlantic crossing. He died of exhaustion after encountering a storm on his way back from America and never got to share in Columbus’ glory.

Any theories out there as to the real location of G.I.? 1400 K from Hawaii seems a little too far.

Gilligan’s Island was located in Sherwood Schwartz’ mind. So it moved around with him.

Gilligan’s Island is just off the coast of the Springfield in which the Simpson’s live.

It is a geographical impossibility, the only (tenuous) connection being to the Pacific Ocean.

Approximately 140° latitude and 10° longitude according to the show.

I don’t believe those coordinates actually exist, though.

Those coordinates would put it in the arctic ocean ~1500 miles north of Oslo, Norway. I think you mean 10 lat / 140 long – which would be in the western pacific, roughly 800 miles east of the Phillipines. The island nation of Palau is located at 7’20 N 134’29 E, so that’s probably the closest thing.

But as others have suggested, I doubt that Sherwood Schwartz had a specific geographic location in mind. It was intentionally vague.

There’s no way to know. The desert isle was uncharted, remember? Even by all the visitors they kept getting.

Of all the questions one might have about the plausibility of the show, *this * is at the top of the list?

That latitude cannot exist. Latitude begins at 0 degrees at the equator. It then runs to 90 degrees north latitude at the north pole and 90 degrees south latitude which is the south pole. Furthermore, one has to specify whether it is north or south latitude after the number. For example, 45 degrees north is where I live in Canada, as well as southern France, Northern Italy, Mongolia and Northern Japan. 45 degrees south is southern Argentina and southern New Zealand.

G.I. was a “Tropic Isle”. That means it would have to be located in that belt in the middle of the earth that extends from the Tropic of Cancer (21-1/2 degrees of latitude north of the equator) and the Tropic of Capricorn (21-1/2 degrees of latitude south of the equator).

Now as to that longtitude, 10 degrees is possible, but it must be specified as degrees west or east of Greenwich. 10 degrees east longtitude and 10 degrees west longtitude are very close together on a world map. They both do indeed run through the tropics, but they run through them in the south Atlantic under West Africa and west of Angola. So was Gilligan’s Island near Africa, in the Atlantic???

Gilligan’s Isle will always be located in our hearts, because Alan Hale Jr., “The Skipper” was a really, really, REALLY cool guy.


The Island must be West of Hawaii, because there was a WW2-era Japanese Soldier based on it, as a plane spotter, I believe.

The Japanese had no land bases on or East of Midway.

So, it must be West of 177°22′W, & due to climate, probably South of 28°13′N .

I just want to know what happened to this skillful, fearless crew. Cause the ones left on the island seemed to be at least half retarded most of the time.

(no offense intended to the mentally handicapped, impaired or any of the other terms)


If I recall correctly from reading Russell Johnson’s book, *Gilligan’s Island * was on the back lot of a studio.

However, it’s been about 5 years since I read the book.

Perhaps this is why the isle was uncharted. :wink:

Well, it WAS a helluva storm…

We know the Island was within Radio distance of at least one Hawaiian Radio station.
I believe Hawaii was mentioned several times in the show.
That max range for a 50,000-watt Radio station is about 450 miles from what I understand. There are exceptional atmospheric conditions that allow for further range, but these are not consistent.


In one episode, I thought they said they they had left from Hawaii. I think it’s the one where Mr. Howell directs teh silent movie from the film and camera that wash up in the lagoon. The Skipper is pointing out on a map where they had come from.

That is extremely frequency-dependent. If you mean reguar AM, yes, and FM is even more line-of-sight. But shortwave and amateur radio bounces all over the place.

Look for “Gilligan’s Island” on Wikipedia and it discusses this very topic, including the location of the real island seen in the opening credits (under “Trivia”).

I suppose Gilligan’s Island is considered The Arts. So off to Cafe Society.


It’s just a name. Gilligan’s Island is actually a peninsula.

Like the moon landing, the entire thing was a hoax. The Skipper and The Professor simply faked the whole shipwreck. The boat never left Hawaii. They holed up on a uninhabited part of one of the islands.

The whole thing was a ruse to get Howell’s money and into Ginger and MaryAnn’s pants.