Round as a ball, Gran Canaria appears to have been bounced from the coast of West Africa 130 miles to the east. The third-largest of the Canary Islands (after Tenerife and Fuerteventura), it’s roughly the same size as Greater London. It was «discovered» in 999AD, when the Granada-based navigator Ibn Farrukh landed (and introduced the wonder plant aloe vera to its shores). However, before the Spanish arrived in the 15th century, the Canarii occupied the island. These Berber-descended people had no knowledge of shipbuilding, which has led historians to conclude they were exiled landlocked slaves.