No one really knows her real name but they call her Juana Maria. The woman lived alone on San Nicolas island off the coast of California between 1835-1853.
She was the only remaining person from the Nicoleños tribe. During that time, Catholic members from the main island travelled to San Nicolas to pick up the members of the tribe but for some reason, Juana was left behind.
Rumour has it that she was on the boat but jumped off thinking that her little brother was left behind on the island. At the same time, there was a large storm and the boat had to hurry back to the mainland, leaving her.
18 years later, George Nidever, an American explorer led the expedition to find the last member of the Nicoleño tribe. They headed back to the island and found her. George Nidever described Juana as, 'medium height, but rather thick...She must have been about 50 years old, but she was still strong and active.
Her face was pleasing as she was continually smiling. Her teeth were entire but worn to the gums'. They took Juana to the Santa Barbara Mission but she could only communicate in her native language and no one understood her. Unfortunately, 7 weeks later she passed away from dysentery. Her story was so inspiring that it was put into words in a children's book called 'Island of Blue Dolphins', by Scott O'Dell (1960).