Feb 1, 1709 CE: Rescue of Real-Life Robinson Crusoe

Feb 1, 1709 CE: Rescue of Real-Life Robinson Crusoe

On February 1, 1709, Alexander Selkirk, the probable inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, was rescued after four years alone on a South Pacific island.


9 - 12


Anthropology, English Language Arts, Geography, Human Geography, Physical Geography

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On February 1, 1709, a Scottish sailor named Alexander Selkirk was rescued after spending four years alone on a South Pacific island. Alexander stayed healthy and fit on the island. He ate food such as shellfish, berries, and wild turnips. Earlier visitors to the island had accidentally left goats, which were wild by the time Alexander was stranded. Alexander hunted these goats for meat, and used their skins to make durable clothing. Woodes Rogers, the captain of the vessel that rescued Alexander, was so impressed with his survival abilities that he put him in charge of a ship!

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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