We think we found the real Gilligan's Island thanks to the Professor

If only Google Maps had been around, the castaways could have been rescued.

Image: Google Maps / The Everett Collection

Just, where is Gilligan's Island, you wonder? Well, it's hard to pinpoint for a couple of reasons. For starters, two different sets of coordinates are given in season one.

In "X Marks the Spot," the Pentagon announces missile tests that put the castaways at ground zero. A radio report explains that their remote island lies at 140º latitude, 10º longitude. Geography nerds will spot a problem right away. Latitude, the measure of distance from the equator in the northern or southern hemisphere, can only range from 0º–90º. Longitude, on the other hand, ranges from 0º–180º, zeroed at Greenwich, England.

These initial Gilligan's Island coordinates are impossible. But let's assume the latitude and longitude are merely flipped, and the isle sits at 10º latitude, 140º longitude. 

Well, maybe.

A few episodes later, when a surfer lands on the island in "Big Man on a Little Stick," the Professor gets the latitude and longitude in the correct order. The Professor tells the dude to remember the island is located at 10º latitude, 110º longitude.

Well, that raises another problem. He does not specify North / South nor East / West. Not only did the brainiac fail to fix the boat, he was rather vague with geographic coordinates.

Considering the Skipper sets out on a "three-hour tour" from Honolulu, we assume it to be North and West. Let's look at where those two points lie.

10ºN, 140ºW is much closer to Hawaii and is a plausible landing site for the Minnow to reach in a few hours.

Google Maps

However, there is nothing there.

It gets much more interesting when you look at 10ºN, 110ºW. That brings the castaways close to Mexico, admittedly a long voyage.

Google Maps

But if we can suspend disbelief and imagine that the tiny boat is significantly "tossed," well, there is something to these coordinates. 

Let's switch to satellite.

Google Maps

See that tiny speck in the upper right? Could that be…?

This remote isle is remarkably similar to the setting of Gilligan's Island. It sits at 10°18'14.3"N, 109°13'00.2"W — quiet close to the Professor's coordinates.

Turns out, he was a smart guy, even if he couldn't fix the Minnow. Or, perhaps we should say, the writers were the smart ones. They discovered this speck without Google Maps.

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Nina 7 months ago
Does the island/atoll have a name?
HerbF 7 months ago
The Professor could be a little off, but it's safe to assume he had some knowledge of Astronomy so he could figure the island's location by the stars. The Skipper might have even had a sextant on the Minnow, being an old navy many.
JDnHuntsvilleAL HerbF 1 month ago
You can easily determine latitude by the stars by just seeing how far the North Star is about the horizon, but for longitude you need to know the time difference between where you are and Greenwich, England.
JimmyD 7 months ago
I think the main reason the coordinates weren't very accurate is because the show was shot in CA.
madmark1 7 months ago
Well we could go on and on about the inaccuracies of Gilligans island even though it was an entertaining and fun show to watch look at all the stuff the Howl’s and Ginger and Maryanne brought and the professor when they were only going on a three hour tour.And supposedly the island was only around 400 to 500 miles south east of Hawaii. They were ship wrecked by a typhoon supposedly well I lived in Hawaii and in that region of the world tropical cyclones are known as hurricanes. but I could go on but nevertheless it was a fun and entertaining show because of that we forget all the technicalities.
madmark1 7 months ago
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texasluva 7 months ago
The way I see it using 10°18'14.3"N, 109°13'00.2"W location. I am about 2,000 miles from Gilligan's Island. Hey I do not see an island. Did it sink?
texasluva 7 months ago
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texasluva texasluva 7 months ago
I just got bushwacked by a no good spammer, scammer hacker 😡. Geez even in MeTV. 🧨🤪
We flag them, when we'd rather flog them!
harlow1313 7 months ago
The professor was such a great scientist; fused nuclei in coconut milk, fashioned a condom from banana peel (necessity being the mother of invention).
Accidentally discovered saltpeter...
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