Jump to content

Millennium Island

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caroline atoll
Date line, Caroline island is highlighted in red.

Millennium Island (previously Caroline Island, or Caroline atoll), is an atoll, in the Pacific Ocean that is part of Kiribati. It is the easternomost atoll of Kiribati. The atoll is part of the Southern Line Islands. In total, the atoll consists of 39 islets(motus), which cover a surface (landmass) of about 400 hectares (990 acres). The atoll covers an area of about 24 square kilometres (9.3 sq mi)

It was first sighted by Europeans in 1606, it was claimed by the United Kingdom in 1868. It has been part of the Republic of Kiribati since the island nation's independence in 1979. Caroline Island has remained relatively untouched and is considered one of the world's most pristine tropical islands, despite guano mining, copra harvesting, and human habitation in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is home to one of the world's largest populations of the coconut crab and is an important breeding site for seabirds, most notably the sooty tern.

The atoll is currently designated as a wildlife sanctuary.[1] In 2014 the Kiribati government established a 12-nautical-mile fishing exclusion zone around each of the southern Line Islands (Caroline (commonly called Millennium), Flint, Vostok, Malden, and Starbuck).[2] Both Flint and wostok are about 230 kilometres (140 mi) to the west. Papeete, Thahiti is about 849 kilometres (528 mi) to the south.

Geography[change | change source]

It extends about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) from north to south, and about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from east to west. The total landmass is just 3.76 square kilometres (1.45 sq mi). The coral reef extends about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) out. The lagoon is very shallow, and normal boats usually cannot enter. At high tide, it is possible to reach a beach with a boat. At low tide, a walk of about 400 metres (1,300 ft) in waist-deep water is required.

In the north and in the south, there are bigger islands. The one in the north is called Nake Island, the one in the south is called South Island. Both have freshwater sources. There are aquifers on both.

In 1994, Kiribati changed the International date line, so that all of Kiribati would have the same date. This meant that Caroline atoll would be the first landmass on earth with the new date. For the year-2000 celebrations, the atoll was renamed Millennium Island. Other names in the past have included Hirst Island, Clark Island and Independence Island.

The island is an important breeding place for birds. The only known mammal on the atoll is a rat.

Image gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Edward R. Lovell, Taratau Kirata & Tooti Tekinaiti (September 2002). "Status report for Kiribati's coral reefs" (PDF). Centre IRD de Nouméa. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  2. Warne, Kennedy (September 2014). "A World Apart – The Southern Line Islands". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2015.