An uninhabited island in the Indonesian archipelago first visited by scientists only in 2005, Pulau Pejantan (also known as Sand Forest island) has recently drawn increasing attention from researchers for its extremely unusual geological features and remarkable biodiversity. Two distinct environmental regions--a central semi-tropical forest, ringed by pale white sand dunes dotted with geothermal oddities like the extraordinary Black Geyser--harbor some six hundred species of fauna, roughly seventy percent of which exist only on the island.
Pulau Pejantan provides scientists with an extraordinary opportunity to study what is essentially a closed ecological system. Conditions are difficult for observation on the remote island. Its peculiar hydrological activity and location in the doldrums of the equatorial region along the Java trench combine to produce a thick blanket of fog that covers its landmass essentially from sunrise to late afternoon, 365 days a year; as a result, much of the work must be done in poor light.