You’re probably familiar with William Golding’s 1951 novel, Lord of the flies.

For those who aren’t, its plot revolts around a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island who resort to anti-social behaviour, including murder, in a disastrous attempt to govern themselves.

Historian Rutger Bregman has exposed the real-life story of ‘Lord of the Flies’ involving a group of boys who were left stranded on an island for over a year.

He wrote the following in The Guardian: “In the 6 October 1966 edition of Australian newspaper The Age, a headline jumped out at me: ‘Sunday showing for Tongan castaways’. The story concerned six boys who had been found three weeks earlier on a rocky islet south of Tonga, an island group in the Pacific Ocean. The boys had been rescued by an Australian sea captain after being marooned on the island of ‘Ata for more than a year.”

Instead of chaos and violence, the young men cooperated and worked together for 15 months.

Are we unaware of this story because it ended so positively unlike its novel counterpart? You decide.

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