The Islands of the Dead: Exploring the Farallon Islands

Located close to San Francisco, one of the world’s most recognizable metropolises, there is a series of desolate, fog shrouded, wind and wave-sculpted islands. Known as the “Islands of the Dead” by the Native Miwok, and the “Devil’s Teeth” by Spanish mariners, these islands have a fascinating history of human exploitation, killing and loss. Today, these islands are refuge to hundreds of thousands of seabirds and marine mammals. A part of the Fish and Wildlife Refuge system, the islands are encircled by the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and are part of the California Marine Protected Area network.

Each Sharktober, we lead public wildlife expeditions into the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Follow our adventures and shark science on our National Geographic Field Notes or join us aboard the Amigo, departing Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

California Academy of Sciences Farallon Island Web Cam

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (Site)

Non Fiction

The Farallon Islands: Sentinels of the Golden Gate, Peter White

Farallon Islands: The Devil’s Teeth, Marla Daily, Santa Cruz Island Foundation

The Devils Teeth, Susan Casey

Sea Birds of The Farallon Islands, David Ainley

Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape, Cal Flyn 


The Lightkeepers, Abby Geni

FARALLON ISLAND by Russell James


Sanctuary in the Sea, Robert Talbot for NOAA

Devil’s Teeth, Roger Teich