For some people it is the first island we meet in the Messinian Oinousses complex,while others believe that its name is an 'evolution /derives' from the word "floating" since the island seems to be floating.
The prevailing view however wants the island to be named so because of Proteus. Proteus was an ancient deity who could take whatever form he wanted. Since he was a sea deity and while in his wrath he would transform as a sea monster. The Shape of the island resembles a crocodile (since Proteus,was the son of Poseidon) , for others remind them a turtle while certainly looks like a creature emerged.
Here during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian fleet,was going in war with the Spartan in Sfakteria, found refuge from a storm.
At the southern end of the island are preserved ruins of a Mycenaean Acropolis with few walls still standing.A little further north you will find the island's unique beach, Vourlia with the shipwreck of a commercial ship which sank during the 2nd World War. If you like to take a dip underwater ,you may explore the wreck with a mask.
In the middle of the island there is the monastery of Panagia Gorgopigi which celebrates on August 23.
At the steep cliffs of the island you will see caves which were used as hermitages,a place of meditation and prayer for lonely ascetics, who wanted to escape the mundane ( depart this life's pleasures )
For many centuries the island has been a den of pirates as many believe that treasures are hidden in there.
In the northern part, on the rocks there are 30 carved ancient inscriptions of Byzantine era, for good sailing that the sailors carved as wishes.Captains and also Pirates who steered their vessels into the cove of the island to save them from the tempests praing to the gods for good luck during their next sails.The locals call this point "written".
It may not be the bigget island you might encounter while travelling around but it is more than certain that spending a day on this isnland will keep you busy,active and engaged in many pursuits!