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Isle of Giant Horrors

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A deserted island which is not-so deserted. Somewhere on the island is a horrific giant beast. The telltale signs that it's there are usually giant footprints in the sand along the beach, the rumbling of footsteps or the clattering of trees being knocked down, and of course, a horrifying roar.

Usually, these types of creatures are the island's dominant species or ruler, lording over the place because they are the biggest and strongest. In some cases though, they are guardians protecting something residing on the island. Of course, there's also the possibility that the creature is trapped on the island, being surrounded by water on all sides makes it a good prison, in the event the creature cannot swim or is weak against water.

The type of creature that is usually the island's inhabitant can range from creatures from prehistoric times to everyday animals of the giant variety, especially crabs, spiders, and insects. Eldritch or Animalistic Abominations are not excluded from this. In some cases, the island can even be a domain of Mechanical Monsters. Of course, the visitor of the island might not even see what the beast is, due to perhaps being an Invisible Monster or perhaps just to invoke Nothing Is Scarier.


Can be an Island of Mystery if those that land are unaware of the creature residing on it at first. Usually used in a Trapped-with-Monster Plot, especially if the island's visitors are marooned. Different from Turtle Island, which is where an island is a creature, although it is not impossible that the moving island has a beast imprisoned on it. Similar to Beast in the Maze where a creature resides in a labyrinth instead of an island. If there is more than just one giant beast on the island, a Behemoth Battle is likely to happen between them. If the creature has a large stash of treasure, that is a Dragon Hoard. For a wider variety of monster dwellings, see Home of Monsters. Usually a kind of Lost World.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pokémon:
    • After surviving the sinking of the St. Anne, Ash's party and Team Rocket end up stuck on an island made up of malfunctioning giant animatronic Pokémon, separated from their Pokémon.
    • Another episode during the OI season has Meowth and Pikachu tied together in the middle of Fairchild Island, an island containing giant Rhydon and Pidgeot who attack anyone that comes near.
  • Rusukaina, an island in the world of One Piece, contains many enormous beasts that the main protagonist Monkey D. Luffy must battle and survive against in order to get stronger. Some of these beasts include a giant gorilla not unlike King Kong, and a gargantuan elephant.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise has the "Kaiju Island" that Manatsu brings Kuroe and Rairi to in an attempt to summon Harugon. She says that there are local legends about a Kaiju that ate all the islanders. Turns out the island is home to Malicious Monitor Lizards the size of the extinct Megalania that try to eat the girls when they wander too far into the interior.
  • The Island of Giant Insects has giant insects.

    Comic Books 
  • An issue of Planetary that's a homage to the Godzilla films has the team exploring an island somewhere in the vicinity of Japan that is home to a variety of giant prehistoric monsters, all of which have supposedly died out. Emphasis on supposedly.
  • The Centre from DC: The New Frontier, a Hive Mind of prehistoric beasts.
  • Dark Horse brings us Monsters, a compilation containing one story of an isle of giant horrors. The island's fauna make quick work of the explorers who have landed there, but one of them manages to escape, although he's pursued by the island itself, which looks rather hungry...

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Played with in Lord of the Flies. Most of the boys think there is a physical beast and by the end of the book start to almost worship it, but there is no "real" beast. The idea of the beast is actually used to represent of humanity's innate evil.
  • The Ur-Example is The Odyssey, where Odysseus and his crew dock on an island inhabited by a Cyclops named Polyphemus, who imprisons them in his cave and eats them two by two. They defeat the monster by stabbing his eye out with a stick.
  • The title character of Sinbad the Sailor often ends up on one of these during his travels, including one where a Roc bird nests, and another inhabited by a man-eating giant (who's basically an Expy of Polyphemus from The Odyssey and gets defeated in a similar manner).
  • Fragment: Henders Island is a remnant of an ancient supercontinent from the Precambrian era, where everything has been evolving separately for 570 million years and the inherent savagery of life has been turned up to eleven; an orgy of violence where the food chain is thrown out the window and everything eats everything - the dominant lifeform being a land-going species of mantis shrimp capable of single-hand(claw?)edly shredding and devouring tanks.
  • In The Island of the Skog, the mice who land on the island assume that the Skog is a terrifying monster, and it seems they were right, until it turns out to have been a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax by the actual Skog, which is the same size as them.
  • In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the first uncharted island the ship visits is inhabited by a dragon.
  • The Voyage of Máel Dúin:
    • Exploring island no. 5, the voyagers discover a large plain with many hoof marks, and each mark is "as large as the sail of a ship". They also see nut shells of unusual size and a lot of "plunder". They become scared and go back to their ship; as they sail away, they observe a crowd of gigantic people approaching the island over the sea, who proceed to put on a horse-race (with equally gigantic horses) on the island. There is no explanation for these happenings, except that the voyagers feel sure that the giants are demons, and accordingly make off as fast as they can.
    • The voyagers refrain from landing on several islands they discover because the islands are occupied by large monsters whose behavior suggests that they want to eat the voyagers. On island no. 4, there is a huge creature looking like a horse with claws; on island no. 8, there is a bizarre "twisting beast" fenced in by a stone wall going around the island; both of these monsters hurl stones at the voyagers as they are leaving. There is also an island with hungry giant ants, and one with hostile giants who forge iron, and who try to sink them with a mass of glowing iron.
  • In "The Quest for Blank Claveringi", a blood-curdling short story by Patricia Highsmith, biologist Avery Clavering is in search of a new species to make his reputation. He hears about a remote tropical island supposedly inhabited by an unknown species of giant snail, so he travels there in hopes of killing or capturing one. Unfortunately, the "giant snails" turn out to be really giant, with shells taller than he is. They're also quite willing to eat anything that crosses their path, including a biology professor foolish enough to land alone on an unknown island. Then it gets worse: Clavering finds that while he can easily walk away from the voracious snails, he has to rest... but the snails don't.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Ultra Series has featured a couple over the years.
    • One of the first and best-known episodes of the original Ultraman was "The Lawless Monster Zone", in which the Science Patrol visits an island populated by various giant monsters like the dinosaur-like Red King, the bat-like Chandler, and a giant burrowing reptile called Magular. Another one appeared in their Multi-Part Episode, this time home to relic dinosaur and Ensemble Dark Horse of the franchise Gomora.
    • In Ultraman 80, UGM finds an abandoned island resort where an evil alien monster called Gimyra has hypnotized everyone on the island to drink their blood and turn them into its giant monster minions.
    • In one episode of Ultraman Dyna, Super GUTS visits an island populated by several monsters they have previously met. It soon turns out that the creatures are clones being used as practice targets for a Mad Scientist-made monster called Neosaurus.
    • Subverted with the Kapuya Islands of Ultraman Cosmos. While the archipelago hosts a variety of kaiju, the place is meant to be a sanctuary for them, having been created by EYES as a home for monsters subdued by Cosmos. Besides, most of the creatures on the island are Gentle Giants like the Giant Flyer Lidorias, the mole-like Mogrudon, and the energy-eating reptile Bolgils.
    • Ultraman Max homaged the original example in a two-part episode featuring Red King, as well as two new monsters — a giant newt called Salamandon and a gliding reptile called Paragler. It's later revealed that the island is actually a dimension-hopping prison for Red King built by Atlantis, and the other two monsters are its guards.
    • Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle exaggerates this with Bolis, an entire planet of giant horrors. Naturally, the story is that the main characters are stranded on the world in a space expedition and have to survive all the kaiju (all pulled from previous series) that do nothing but attack anything they see.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Both Breath of Fire I and Breath of Fire II feature an island at the northern end of the map that has giant versions of common enemies which are much tougher to defeat.
  • Final Fantasy VI has an island with dinosaurs as random encounters.
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, in the Shandor Island level, there is a huge Sloar which is not only the source of all of Shandor's experiments, but also the final node guardian, making it the Boss Battle.
  • The fourth world of Super Mario Bros. 3 is an island with giant versions of regular enemies.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Island Gigantism, as Wikipedia states, is "a biological phenomenon in which the size of animals isolated on an island increases dramatically in comparison to their mainland relatives." Results in things like the Komodo Dragon (probably the closest thing to a Real Life example of this trope), the Madagascar Elephant Bird (a flightless bird twice the size of an ostrich), and the Giant Tortoise of the Galápagos.
  • Inverted with insular dwarfism, in which large animals become smaller due to the limited resources available. This has occurred with elephants, hippopotamuses, dinosaurs, and even a species of prehistoric human. Such creatures can often be found in the same environment as examples of the phenomenon's opposite.


Video Example(s):


Monster Island

President Lisa Simpson is sent to Monster Island for failing gym. But don't worry, it's just a name.

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