The best way to get on the island is to fly a helicopter from the deck of a ship and delicately land on the Bouvet’s icy surface. Essentially, Bouvet is an ice-covered, glacier-surrounded, inhospitable lump. Yet it has been an object of national desire, had at least three different names, and is even caught up in a mysterious episode of international intrigue.
In 1964, an abandoned boat was discovered on the island, along with various supplies; however, the boat’s passengers were never found. The identity of the boat’s occupiers is still unknown.
In 1979, a bright flash of light was seen between Bouvet and Prince Edward Islands by the United States’ Vela satellite. Known as the Vela Incident, it is now believed that the flash was caused by a secret South African-Israeli joint nuclear bomb detonation, though neither country has officially admitted to such.