Στον Εύξεινο Πόντο φωτεινό νησί ο Αχιλλέας έχει.
(Πίνδαρος, Δ΄ Νεμεόνικος, στ. 49)
The origin of the island is surrounded by legends. Ancient Greeks thought Zmeiny island was raised from the bottom of the sea by goddess Thetis for her son Achilles.
Zmeiny island was formed by solid rock lithologies, which is mixed with quartz conglomerate, quartzite sandstone and speckled colored sediments. Its steep rocky banks reach 5 meters in height, and maximum height is located in the south-eastern part and reaches 41.3 meters. there are four beaches in the island, as well as grottoes and clefts that reach from the sea deep into the rocks. These natural underground caves have emerged as a result of geological exogenous processes.
The climate there is temperate steppe and often brings gusty winds, high humidity and quick changes of weather. The soil coat is not too tall. Local conditions are not suitable for trees, which is why, even despite numerous attempts of people to make the island greener, the land is covered in steppe plants.
In spring you can see around 200 species of birds in the island. These birds use the island to have a rest. The name of the island, Zmeiny (Snake), comes from adders that are brought here by the streams of Danube river. Water is populated with fish (around 50 species) and crabs (6 species). There is a reservation of national importance called Zmeiny Island. It occupies the area of 232 hectares and is considered to be the cleanest piece of land in Ukraine.
The origin of the island is surrounded by legends. Ancient Greeks thought Zmeiny island was raised from the bottom of the sea by goddess Thetis for her son Achilles. The island is where the church of Achilles used to stand. The ruins of the church were found and given the description in 1832. During the Medieval times the island belonged to Turkey, but in 1829 it was acquired by Russian Empire.
After the World War II the island was used for storing air defense radar regiment and radio troop of Coastal surveillance of the Soviet Navy In 1980 people discovered significant amounts of natural gas and oil in the shelf. This led to claims made by Romania.
We can expect a tourist and diving centre to open in the island in the nearest future, because Zmeiny island is a truly fascinating attraction for sightseeing and extreme tourism.