Top Isle of Wight people have welcomed academic research which has established the geographical nature of the holiday destination.
Research published by Ryde University yesterday proves that the island is completely surrounded by water.
"This is very exciting research," said Prof Newman Drumlin, head of the university's Earth Sciences department. "We began this programme five years ago to establish just exactly what made the Isle of Wight an island.
"We can confirm that it is because there is water around it everywhere. It's salt water - sea, in fact.
"The next stage of the programme is to compare our data with other research institutions around the UK - we are in close touch with the Douglas Institute of Islands on the Isle of Man, for example - and who knows where it might lead on an international level?
"These are northern waters, so we're keen to make comparisons with warmer locations, like in the Mediterranean or Indian Ocean."
The professor added that the high-powered research had cost a little over £15 million.
Editor of the Ryde and Newport Bugle, Phil "Scoop" Credible, said: "This news is going to be welcomed by everyone here. It explains a lot - not least why we have to get a boat to go anywhere, or why tourists have to get on ferries and hovercraft to come here."
A senior member of the Cowes Sailing Club added: "I've suspected as much for years. But it's not the kind of thing you like to talk about - people think you're mad."