Off the southeast shore of Nova Scotia, there lies a windswept, sandy island called Sable Island, once also known as the graveyard of the Atlantic (350 shipwrecks since 1583). Although myth has it that the animals are shipwreck survivors, they are actually living remnants of a different sort of tragedy: the expulsion of Acadians from Nova Scotia to America by British authorities in the eighteenth century. The horses they left behind were collected and sent to the island around 1760 by Thomas Hancock, a Bostonian merchant and shipowner.
Access to the island is limited, and the horses themselves are left strictly alone, although researchers and photographers occasionally visit to conduct studies. You can take a virtual tour and learn more about Sable Island through the Sable Island Green Horse Society, and more information about the island’s history and ecology is available here (aussi en français).