Paul Katz
February 28, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

The power-play maneuvers we’re sure to see this season on Survivor: Palau are nothing compared to the battles in the Micronesian island nation’s past.

After being shipwrecked in 1783, Capt. Henry Wilson (with some help from local chief Ibedul) returned to England with news of the tropical paradise, opening the door for a long line of occupiers, including Spain, Germany, and Japan.

Those wrecks are real: During WWII, the U.S. Navy’s Operation Desecrate One sent more than 50 Japanese ships to the ocean floor.

In 1985, while brokering the country’s independence with the U.S., President Haruo Remeliik was assassinated amid political unrest. Suddenly, getting voted off the island is looking pretty good.

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