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By Alastair Alexander

PISS stands for the Phoenix Islands Resettlement Scheme. I wish I was making this one up.

In 1938, as an effort to ease over-population problems on the Gilbert and Ellis Islands in the Pacifc, a plan was drawn up to colonise three atolls in the Phoenix Islands archipelago. This was one of the last great projects of the British Empire, and not in itself a bad idea. Unfortunately, World War II got in the way, one of the key motivating personnel in the project died from a tropical disease, and the colonies ultimately failed - being evacuated in 1963 after a series of problems.

One of the Phoenix Islands - Nikumaroro - is best-known today as being a possible crash site of Amelia Earhart after the discovery of items that could have come from her plane.

The PISS has otherwise disappeared, leaving only a glorious acronym that either shows the British Empire's people on the ground had an extremely childish sense of humour, or had none at all.

More (believe it if you want) PISS information: Wiki


Or try:
Image: Thomas Warm

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