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What are the names of some of the Hawaiian islands?

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Quick Answer

Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe. The state capital of Hawaii is Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu.

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Full Answer

Joining the United States as the 50th state in Aug. 20, 1959, the state of Hawaii consists entirely of an archipelago home to well over 100 islands. Thousands of years ago, eruptions of underwater volcanoes led to the islands' formation, which the Polynesians later discovered.

The island of Hawaii, or the "Big Island," gets its nickname for being more than twice the size of the other islands combined. Here, visitors can find Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world if measured from ocean floor to summit. Also located on this island is Kilauea Iki, one of the world's largest and most active volcanoes.

Oahu, Maui and Kauai draw in large numbers of tourists every year, helping fuel the state's economy. The only royal palace in the United States, Iolani Palace, sits in Oahu.

Of the eight main islands, Kahoolawe measures in as the smallest with a 45-square-mile radius and remains the only uninhabited main island, as of 2015. During World War II, the U.S. military used it as a training ground for warfare in the Pacific. In 1993, the island became the Kahoolawe Island Reserve, used only for Native Hawaiian heritage purposes.

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