Island Pond in Springfield, Massachusetts is a floating island the size of a football field. It has been floating for as long as anyone can remember, buoyed by a mat of sphagnum moss and gases from decomposing plants.
But the island does not just serenely bob around in the center of its pond habitat. Sometimes it boings about as if in a pinball machine and, unfortunately, during heavy rains or strong winds, it tears from its anchor of roots and sails (at sometimes rather high speed for an island) into somebody's backyard!
On such occasions it has been reported to crush fences, swamp patios, wreck boat docks and flood sheds, before coming to an exhausted standstill in somebody's yard. Despite the island's mischievous and unpredictable behavior, the locals say the wandering island is a rarity that must not be tethered, altered or otherwise brought under control.
When it goes astray, the island is just towed back into the pond! "It'll probably go back to somebody else's property," said John Miller. There is a legend that a turtle the size of a bearnamed Big Ben lives on the Island Pond island, feeding on ducks, geese and anything else it can snap up.