The Real Palm Key
© 2001 Lyle P. Blosser
John Boyd sent me this little tidbit of information, with a scan. Pretty cool!
You may be interested to know that there is indeed a Palm Key, just off the coast of Florida, as you surmise. But to find it, you would have to look for it on a very detailed map, like of those 100+ page atlas books of Florida, or on a nautical chart. I'm attaching a scanned image of part of a nautical chart that I have. It is published by Teall's and taken from a government NOAA chart.
For the geographically inclined, Palm Key is located near latitude 25 d 7 m north, and longitude 80 d 53 m west, or about 3 miles southeast of the town of Flamingo. (It's not part of the main chain of keys, linked by bridges along U.S. Highway 1.) Flamingo, despite its small size (population less than 100), is shown on almost any Florida map, because of it's out-of-the-way location near the southern tip of the mainland. Using this as a point of reference, one can usually locate Palm Key among the archipelago just south of it. But even if Palm Key is shown on a map, it is rarely labeled (check MapQUEST, for example), except for the kinds of maps noted above.
Of course, the writers of JQ could have simply made up the name of the island, choosing a name that sounds typical of Florida. But even if they did, the real Palm Key seems to me to fit the one on the show very well. Looking at the map, Palm Key appears to be roughly oval-shaped, about 3/4 mile long and 1/2 mile wide, not accessible by any bridge, and uninhabited (though we Quest fans know better!). It would have the tropical climate of southern Florida, too. The size of the real island may be small for everything that the Quests' Palm Key seems to have, but other than that, this would be a great location for Dr. Quest's lab. Maybe someday I can drive down to Flamingo, rent a boat, and go out and photograph this famous island...
-John in FL
We'll be waiting for those photos, John!
Satellite photo of the real Palm Key!
I was able to go to the Terra Server website and call up some decent aerial photos of the island known as Palm Key...neat! Here's a link to a high-level view:
Palm Key on the TerraServer web site
The image you see below was provided by a life-long Jonny Quest fan, who spent a lot of time and effort piecing together and editing images from the TerraServer to get this excellent-looking result. Thanks a bunch!
Flamingo, Florida location
Flamingo is home to the only in-park lodging facility in Everglades National Park. For more info, go to Flamingo Lodge's web site. You can rent a skiff there; maybe you could check out Palm Key for yourself during your stay!
Check out the images below to see where Flamingo is in relation to the rest of the Florida Keys and the northern Caribbean.