Hufaidh, the Elusive, Edenic Island


Hufaidh is a mysterious Edenic island reportedly located in the marshes of southern Iraq. Thought to be a mythical island by others, it is believed by the Ma’dan (or Marsh Arabs) to be an actual, howbeit elusive, island.

Wilfred Thesiger, English author and explorer, was informed by the Ma’dan that:

“Hufaidh is an island . . . On it are palaces, and palm trees and gardens of pomegranates, and the buffaloes are bigger than ours. But no one knows exactly where it is . . . Anyone who sees Hufaidh is bewitched, and afterwards no one can understand his words.” [1]

He was also informed that “They say the Jinns can hide the island from anyone who comes near it.”

R.S.M. Sturges (Political Officer at Qurnah in 1920) shared with Thesiger a possible connection between Hufaidh and the biblical Garden of Eden. Sturges wrote about the local legend of “a lost island in the marshes bearing luscious fruits and guarded . . . On certain nights it shone with a radiance visible for many miles. It seemed to move like some out-size will-o’-the-wisp and eluded all attempts to track it down . . . I saw it myself once – a strong diffused glow as of the full moon just below the horizon.” [2]

Thesiger’s host, Sadam, earlier related that “One of the Fartus saw it, years ago, when I was a child. He was looking for buffalo and when he came back his speech was all muddled up, and we knew he had seen Hufaidh.”

He further said, “Saihut, the great AIbu Muhammad sheikh, searched for Hufaidh with a fleet of canoes in the days of the Turks, but he found nothing.

When Thesiger made some skeptical comment Sadam emphatically said, “No, Sahib, Hufaidh is there all right. Ask anyone, the sheikhs or the Government. Everyone knows about Hufaidh.” [3]

(References for this article and Links for further information can be found  below the following videos)







  1. Thesiger, Wilfred. The Marsh Arabs. Penguin, 2007. pp 84-85
  2. Maitland, Alexander. Wilfred Thesiger: The Life of the Great Explorer, pg 310, HarperPress, 2006
  3. Thesiger, Wilfred. The Marsh Arabs. Penguin, 2007. pp 84-85


Has the Garden of Eden been located at last?

Eden, Mysteries of the Bible

Life on the Edge of the Marshes

Iraq’s Marsh Arabs in the Garden of Eden

The Marsh Arabs