What Are Some of the Special Features of Nikumaroro Island?


Quick Answer

Nikumaroro Island's main physical features are a large and shallow marine lagoon that occupies the center of the island and a coral reef. The island was once home to a British colonial village and is also the possible crash site of Amelia Earhart.

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Full Answer

Nikumaroro Island is part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, in the territory of the Republic of Kiribati. The island is difficult to land on as the rim is continuous with the exception of two passages on the southwestern side.

There have been several attempts at human habitation, but all have been aborted due mostly to a lack of fresh water and frequent severe storms. A small settlement for planting coconuts was established in 1892 after Britain claimed the island, but it was abandoned in less than a year due to drought. Britain took a second crack at colonizing the island in 1938, and this colony managed to survive until it was evacuated in 1963. It has been uninhabited since, though scientists regularly visit it to study the flora and fauna.

The main point of interest for most is that the island may have been Amelia Earhart's crash site, based on an expedition that found various pieces of evidence such as the remains of women's cosmetics. The evidence is not conclusive as of September 2015, however.

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