Sakhalin Island is the largest of all those belonging to the Russian Federation. Moreover, for a long time Sakhalin was considered a peninsula. The well-known researcher of the Far East GI Nevelskoy proved the fallacy of this theory, who in 1849, during one of the expeditions, discovered the strait separating Sakhalin from the mainland. Nevelskoy's assertion aroused the anger of some scientists, who even offered to deprive him of the rank of naval officer for basic ignorance of geography.
Currently, you can get to Sakhalin only by sea or air. Although, talks about the possibility of building a tunnel connecting the island with the mainland of Russia have been going on since the middle of the 19th century. But, the project was constantly postponed due to economic difficulties or the inexpediency of such construction.
For a long time Sakhalin was a disputed territory between Russia and Japan. Since 1855, the island was jointly owned by the two countries, after 20 years Russia, in exchange for the northern Kuril Islands, received the entire island. After the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905. The southern part of the island passed to Japan. After the end of World War II, the island became part of the USSR.
Alexander II chose Sakhalin as a place where the most notorious criminals were exiled. According to the emperor, this will help to separate the criminals from the population of Siberia and the Far East. The hiking route from Central Russia to Sakhalin took about one and a half to two years. During this time, many prisoners simply died on the way.
In 1890 the famous Russian writer Anton Pavlovich Chekhov visited the island. He personally conducted a census of the island's population, was interested in the life of local convicts. After returning home, he wrote the book "Sakhalin Island".
One of the most famous Sakhalin convicts was Sonya Zolotaya Ruchka. She kept in touch with the underworld, even while in hard labor. Therefore, there is a legend that a treasure was hidden in the area of the city of Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, which Sonya could not, after her release, take to the mainland.
In 1962, the largest potato tuber was grown on Sakhalin. The weight of the record holder was 3 kilograms 200 grams.
A new breed of dog was bred on Sakhalin - the Sakhalin Husky. In 1958, a Japanese expedition to Antarctica used 15 dogs of this breed. Due to an unforeseen situation, the animals had to be left on the icy continent with a minimum supply of food. Only a year later, people returned here. To their surprise, two dogs survived - three-year-old males Taro and Jiro. In Japan, dogs became heroes, and a memorial was erected in memory of the dead animals.
Red caviar is one of the symbols of Sakhalin. And even at the end of the 19th century, the indigenous inhabitants of the island threw it out along with the fish offal, since they considered this delicacy not edible.
Oroks are one of the smallest peoples in Russia. At the beginning of the 21st century, only 295 people of this nationality lived in our country. Of these, 259 are on Sakhalin. Almost all of them live in two settlements - the city of Poronaysk and the village of Val.