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Okunoshima Rabbit Island: Small Japanese Island is Home to Hundreds of Bunnies [VIDEO]

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jan 19, 2013 01:09 PM EST

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Have you ever dreamed of going to a small island full of cute, fluffy rabbits? Head to Okunoshima in Japan. This tiny place in the Inland Sea of Japan is hopping with rabbits.

Okunoshima, also known as Rabbit Okunoshima, attracts thousands of bunny lovers each year. The friendly wild bunnies come right up to visitors in hopes of getting a snack and people go there just to feed them, and to feel the joy that comes with being surrounded by dozens of adorable bunnies. The island had become a popular weekend and day-trip getaway, Oddity Central reports.

While Okunoshima may be full of all that is cute, it wasn't always a pleasant place. It used to be used as a lethal gas production site for the Imperial Japanese Army from 1929 to 1945. This particular location was used as a chemical warfare production site because it was isolated and far enough from major cities like Tokyo in the event of a disaster, according to Amusing Planet.

The operation was top secret and not even residents or potential employees were told about what the plant was creating. Okunoshima was even taken off of maps for the 16 year period. Not many knew that over 6,000 tons of about 5 types of poison gas were made on this island during that time.

When the war ended, documents from the plant were burned and the gas was disposed of. Visitors can still see signs of the gas production as there are still ruins of factories on the island. There is also a Poison Gas Museum on the island which opened in 1988.

There are many theories about how the rabbits got to the island. Some believe they were brought there during World War II so the poison gases could be tested on them. Workers are believed to have let the animals go when the war was over.

Another theory is that a group on children on a school trip brought eight bunnies to the island in 1971. No matter what the reason was, it didn't take long for the rabbits to reproduce as flood the island with their kind. There are now hundreds of bunnies on the island.

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