Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south; the region is part of the Oceania ecozone. There are four main archipelagos along with numerous outlying islands. Micronesia is divided politically among several sovereign countries. One of these is the Federated States of Micronesia, called "Micronesia" for short and is not to be confused with the overall region; the Micronesia region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Nauru—as well as three U. S. territories in the northern part: Northern Mariana Islands and Wake Island. Micronesia began to be settled several millennia ago, although there are competing theories about the origin and arrival of the first settlers; the earliest known contact with Europeans occurred in 1521. The coinage of the term "Micronesia" is attributed to Jules Dumont d'Urville's usage in 1832.
Micronesia is a region that includes 2100 islands, with a total land area of 2,700 km2, the largest of, Guam, which covers 582 km2. The total ocean area within the perimeter of the islands is 7,400,000 km2. There are four main island groups in Micronesia: the Caroline Islands the Gilbert Islands the Mariana Islands the Marshall IslandsPlus the island country of Nauru; the Caroline Islands are a scattered archipelago consisting of about 500 small coral islands, north of New Guinea and east of the Philippines. The Carolines consist of two states: the Federated States of Micronesia, consisting of 600 islands on the eastern side of the chain with Kosrae being the most eastern and Palau consisting of 250 islands on the western side; the Gilbert Islands are a chain of sixteen atolls and coral islands, arranged in an approximate north-to-south line. In a geographical sense, the equator serves as the dividing line between the northern Gilbert Islands and the southern Gilbert Islands; the Republic of Kiribati contains all of the Gilberts, as well as the island of Tarawa, the site of the country's capital.
The Mariana Islands are an arc-shaped archipelago made up by the summits of fifteen volcanic mountains. The island chain arises as a result of the western edge of the Pacific Plate moving westward and plunging downward below the Mariana plate, a region, the most volcanically active convergent plate boundary on Earth; the Marianas were politically divided in 1898, when the United States acquired title to Guam under the Treaty of Paris, 1898, which ended the Spanish–American War. Spain sold the remaining northerly islands to Germany in 1899. Germany lost all of her colonies at the end of World War I and the Northern Mariana Islands became a League of Nations Mandate, with Japan as the mandatory. After World War II, the islands were transferred into the United Nations Trust Territory System, with the United States as Trustee. In 1976, the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States entered into a covenant of political union under which commonwealth status was granted the Northern Mariana Islands and its residents received United States citizenship.
The Marshall Islands are located north of Nauru and Kiribati, east of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the U. S. territory of Wake Island. The islands consist of 29 low-lying atolls and 5 isolated islands, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets; the atolls and islands form two groups: the Ratak Chain and the Ralik Chain. All the islands in the chain are part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a presidential republic in free association with the United States. Having few natural resources, the islands' wealth is based on a service economy, as well as some fishing and agriculture. Of the 29 atolls, 24 of them are inhabited. Bikini Atoll is an atoll in the Marshall Islands. There are 23 islands in the Bikini Atoll; the islands of Bokonijien and Nam were vaporized during nuclear tests that occurred there. The islands are composed of sand; the average elevation is only about 2.1 metres above low tide level. Nauru is an oval-shaped island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 42 km south of the Equator, listed as the world's smallest republic, covering just 21 km2.
With 11,347 residents, it is the second least-populated country, after Vatican City. The island is surrounded by a coral reef, exposed at low tide and dotted with pinnacles; the presence of the reef has prevented the establishment of a seaport, although channels in the reef allow small boats access to the island. A fertile coastal strip 150 to 300 m wide lies inland from the beach. Wake Island is a coral atoll with a coastline of 19 km just north of the Marshall Islands, it is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Access to the island is restricted and all activities on the island are managed by the United States Air Force; the majority of the islands in the area are part of a coral atoll. Coral atolls begin as coral reefs; when the volcano sinks back down into the sea, the coral continues to grow, keeping the reef at or above water level. One exception is Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, which still has the central volcano and coral reefs around it
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia is an independent republic associated to the United States. It consists of four states – from west to east, Chuuk and Kosrae – that are spread across the Western Pacific Ocean. Together, the states comprise around 607 islands that cover a longitudinal distance of 2,700 km just north of the equator, they lie northeast of New Guinea, south of Guam and the Marianas, west of Nauru and the Marshall Islands, east of Palau and the Philippines, about 2,900 km north of eastern Australia and some 4,000 km southwest of the main islands of Hawaii. While the FSM's total land area is quite small, it occupies more than 2,600,000 km2 of the Pacific Ocean, giving the country the 14th largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world; the sovereign island nation's capital is Palikir, located on Pohnpei Island, while the largest city is Weno, located in the Chuuk Atoll. Each of its four states is centered on one or more main high islands, all but Kosrae include numerous outlying atolls.
The Federated States of Micronesia is spread across part of the Caroline Islands in the wider region of Micronesia, which consists of thousands of small islands divided among several countries. The term Micronesia may refer to the region as a whole; the FSM was a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trust Territory under U. S. administration, but it formed its own constitutional government on May 10, 1979, becoming a sovereign state after independence was attained on November 3, 1986 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Other neighboring island entities, former members of the TTPI, formulated their own constitutional governments and became the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau; the FSM has a seat in the United Nations and has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983. The ancestors of the Micronesians settled over four thousand years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system evolved into a more centralized economic and religious culture centered on Yap Island.
Nan Madol, consisting of a series of small artificial islands linked by a network of canals, is called the Venice of the Pacific. It is located on the eastern periphery of the island of Pohnpei and used to be the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur dynasty that united Pohnpei's estimated 25,000 people from about AD 500 until 1500, when the centralized system collapsed. European explorers—first the Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands and the Spanish—reached the Carolines in the sixteenth century; the Spanish incorporated the archipelago to the Spanish East Indies through the capital, in the 19th century established a number of outposts and missions. In 1887, they founded the town of Santiago de la Ascension in what today is Kolonia on the island of Pohnpei. Following defeat in the Spanish–American War, the Spanish sold the archipelago to Germany in 1899 under the German–Spanish Treaty of 1899. Germany incorporated it into German New Guinea. During World War I, it was captured by Japan.
Following the war, the League of Nations awarded a mandate for Japan to administer the islands as part of the South Pacific Mandate. During World War II, a significant portion of the Japanese fleet was based in Truk Lagoon. In February 1944, Operation Hailstone, one of the most important naval battles of the war, took place at Truk, in which many Japanese support vessels and aircraft were destroyed. Following World War II, it was administered by the United States under United Nations auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands pursuant to Security Council Resolution 21. On May 10, 1979, four of the Trust Territory districts ratified a new constitution to become the Federated States of Micronesia. Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands chose not to participate; the FSM signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States, which entered into force on November 3, 1986, marking Micronesia's emergence from trusteeship to independence. Independence was formally concluded under international law in 1990, when the United Nations ended the Trusteeship status pursuant to Security Council Resolution 683.
The Compact was renewed in 2004. The Federated States of Micronesia is governed by the 1979 constitution, which guarantees fundamental human rights and establishes a separation of governmental powers; the unicameral Congress has fourteen members elected by popular vote. Four senators—one from each state—serve four-year terms; the President and Vice President are elected by Congress from among the four state-based senators to serve four-year terms in the executive branch. Their congressional seats are filled by special elections; the president and vice president are supported by an appointed cabinet. There are no formal political parties. In international politics, the Federated States of Micronesia has voted with the United States with respect to United Nations General Assembly resolutions; the FSM is a sovereign, self-governing state in free association with the United States of America, wholly responsible for its defense. The Division of Maritime Surveillance operates a paramilitary Maritime Wing and a small Maritime Police Unit.
The Compact of Free Association allows FSM citizens to join the U. S. military without having to obtain U. S. permanent residency or citizenship, allows for immigration and employment for Micronesians in the U. S. and establishes economic an
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from small amounts of matter; the first test of a fission bomb released an amount of energy equal to 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear bomb test released energy equal to 10 million tons of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy. Nuclear weapons have been used twice in war, both times by the United States against Japan near the end of World War II. On August 6, 1945, the U. S. Army Air Forces detonated a uranium gun-type fission bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
S. Army Air Forces detonated a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the Japanese city of Nagasaki; these bombings caused injuries that resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians and military personnel. The ethics of these bombings and their role in Japan's surrender are subjects of debate. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated over two thousand times for testing and demonstration. Only a few nations are suspected of seeking them; the only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and acknowledge possessing them—are the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, China, India and North Korea. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though, in a policy of deliberate ambiguity, it does not acknowledge having them. Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands are nuclear weapons sharing states. South Africa is the only country to have independently developed and renounced and dismantled its nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, but its effectiveness has been questioned, political tensions remained high in the 1970s and 1980s. Modernisation of weapons continues to this day. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those that derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, those that use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output. All existing nuclear weapons derive some of their explosive energy from nuclear fission reactions. Weapons whose explosive output is from fission reactions are referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs; this has long been noted as something of a misnomer, as their energy comes from the nucleus of the atom, just as it does with fusion weapons. In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material is forced into supercriticality—allowing an exponential growth of nuclear chain reactions—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another or by compression of a sub-critical sphere or cylinder of fissile material using chemically-fueled explosive lenses.
The latter approach, the "implosion" method, is more sophisticated than the former. A major challenge in all nuclear weapon designs is to ensure that a significant fraction of the fuel is consumed before the weapon destroys itself; the amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of just under a ton to upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT. All fission reactions generate the remains of the split atomic nuclei. Many fission products are either radioactive or moderately radioactive, as such, they are a serious form of radioactive contamination. Fission products are the principal radioactive component of nuclear fallout. Another source of radioactivity is the burst of free neutrons produced by the weapon; when they collide with other nuclei in surrounding material, the neutrons transmute those nuclei into other isotopes, altering their stability and making them radioactive. The most used fissile materials for nuclear weapons applications have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239.
Less used has been uranium-233. Neptunium-237 and some isotopes of americium may be usable for nuclear explosives as well, but it is not clear that this has been implemented, their plausible use in nuclear weapons is a matter of dispute; the other basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large proportion of its energy in nuclear fusion reactions. Such fusion weapons are referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs, as they rely on fusion reactions between isotopes of hydrogen. All such weapons derive a significant portion of their energy from fission reactions used to "trigger" fusion reactions, fusion reactions can themselves trigger additional fission reactions. Only six countries—United States, United Kingdom, China and India—have conducted thermonuclear weapon tests. North Korea claims to have tested a fusion weapon as of January 2016. Thermonuclear weapons a
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, lakes, groundwater systems, wetlands. International waters have no sovereignty, ergo is "Terra nullius". All states have the freedom of: fishing, overflight, laying cables and pipelines, as well as research. Oceans and waters outside national jurisdiction are referred to as the high seas or, in Latin, mare liberum; the Convention on the High Seas, signed in 1958, which has 63 signatories, defined "high seas" to mean "all parts of the sea that are not included in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State" and where "no State may validly purport to subject any part of them to its sovereignty." The Convention on the High Seas was used as a foundation for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed in 1982, which recognized Exclusive Economic Zones extending 200 nautical miles from the baseline, where coastal States have sovereign rights to the water column and sea floor as well as the natural resources found there.
The high seas cover over two thirds of the ocean. Ships sailing the high seas are under the jurisdiction of the flag state. International waters can be contrasted with internal waters, territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. Several international treaties have established freedom of navigation on semi-enclosed seas; the Copenhagen Convention of 1857 opened access to the Baltic by abolishing the Sound Dues and making the Danish Straits an international waterway free to all commercial and military shipping. Several conventions have opened the Dardanelles to shipping; the latest, the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, maintains the straits' status as an international waterway. Other international treaties have opened up rivers, which are not traditionally international waterways; the Danube River is an international waterway so that landlocked Austria, Moldova and Slovakia can have secure access to the Black Sea. Current unresolved disputes over whether particular waters are "International waters" include: The Arctic Ocean: While Canada, Denmark and Norway all regard parts of the Arctic seas as national waters or internal waters, most European Union countries and the United States regard the whole region as international waters.
The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is one of the more prominent examples, with Canada claiming it as internal waters, while the United States and the European Union considers it an international strait. The Southern Ocean: Australia claims an exclusive economic zone around its Antarctic territorial claim. Since this claim is only recognised by four other countries, the EEZ claim is disputed. Area around Okinotorishima: Japan claims Okinotorishima is an islet and thus they should have an EEZ around it, but some neighboring countries claim it is an atoll and thus should not have an EEZ. South China Sea: See Territorial disputes in the South China Sea; some countries consider the South China Sea as international waters, but this viewpoint is not universal. Notably, which opposes any suggestion that coastal States could be obliged to share the resources of the exclusive economic zone with other powers that had fished there, claims historical rights to the resources of the exclusive economic zones of all other coastal States in the South China Sea.
In addition to formal disputes, the government of Somalia exercises little control de facto over Somali territorial waters. Much piracy, illegal dumping of waste and fishing without permit has occurred. Although water is seen as a source of conflict, recent research suggests that water management can be a source for cooperation between countries; such cooperation will benefit participating countries by being the catalyst for larger socio-economic development. For instance, the countries of the Senegal River Basin that cooperate through the Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Sénégal have achieved greater socio-economic development and overcome challenges relating to agriculture and other issues. International Freshwater Treaties Database; the Yearbook of International Cooperation on Environment and Development profiles agreements regarding the Marine Environment, Marine Living Resources and Freshwater Resources. 1972 London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.
1973 London International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 MARPOL 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses – not ratified. Transboundary Groundwater Treaty, Bellagio Draft – proposed, but not signed. Other global conventions and treaties with implications for International Waters: 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity. At least ten conventions are included within the Regional Seas Program of UNEP, including: the Atlantic Coast of West and Central Africa.
Tuvalu known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island country located in the Pacific Ocean, situated in Oceania, about midway between Hawaii and Australia. It lies east-northeast of the Santa Cruz Islands, southeast of Nauru, south of Kiribati, west of Tokelau, northwest of Samoa and Wallis and Futuna, north of Fiji, it comprises three reef islands and six true atolls spread out between the latitude of 5° to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International Date Line. Tuvalu has a population of 10,640; the total land area of the islands of Tuvalu is 26 square kilometres. The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesians; the origins of the people of Tuvalu are addressed in the theories regarding migration into the Pacific that began about 3000 years ago. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the islands as Polynesian navigation skills are recognised to have allowed deliberate journeys on double-hull sailing canoes or outrigger canoes.
The pattern of settlement, believed to have occurred is that the Polynesians spread out from Samoa and Tonga into the Tuvaluan atolls, with Tuvalu providing a stepping stone to further migration into the Polynesian outliers in Melanesia and Micronesia. In 1568, Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to sail through the archipelago, sighting the island of Nui during his expedition in search of Terra Australis; the island of Funafuti was named Ellice's Island in 1819. The Ellice Islands came into Great Britain's sphere of influence in the late 19th century, as the result of a treaty between Great Britain and Germany relating to the demarcation of the spheres of influence in the Pacific Ocean; each of the Ellice Islands was declared a British Protectorate by Captain Gibson of HMS Curacoa between 9 and 16 October 1892. The Ellice Islands were administered as a British protectorate by a Resident Commissioner from 1892 to 1916, as part of the British Western Pacific Territories, as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony from 1916 to 1976.
A referendum was held in December 1974 to determine whether the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands should each have their own administration. As a consequence of the referendum, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony ceased to exist on 1 January 1976, the separate British colonies of Kiribati and Tuvalu came into existence. Tuvalu became independent within the Commonwealth on 1 October 1978. On 5 September 2000, Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations; the origins of the people of Tuvalu are addressed in the theories regarding migration into the Pacific that began about 3000 years ago. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the nearer islands including Samoa and Tonga. Eight of the nine islands of Tuvalu were inhabited. Possible evidence of fire in the Caves of Nanumanga may indicate human occupation for thousands of years. An important creation myth of the islands of Tuvalu is the story of the te Pusi mo te Ali who created the islands of Tuvalu.
The stories as to the ancestors of the Tuvaluans vary from island to island. On Niutao and Vaitupu, the founding ancestor is described as being from Samoa, whereas on Nanumea, the founding ancestor is described as being from Tonga. Tuvalu was first sighted by Europeans on 16 January 1568, during the voyage of Álvaro de Mendaña from Spain, who sailed past Nui and charted it as Isla de Jesús because the previous day was the feast of the Holy Name. Mendaña was unable to land. During Mendaña's second voyage across the Pacific he passed Niulakita on 29 August 1595, which he named La Solitaria. Captain John Byron passed through the islands of Tuvalu in 1764, during his circumnavigation of the globe as captain of the Dolphin, he charted the atolls as Lagoon Islands. Keith S. Chambers and Doug Munro identified Niutao as the island that Francisco Mourelle de la Rúa sailed past on 5 May 1781, thus solving what Europeans had called The Mystery of Gran Cocal. Mourelle's map and journal named the island El Gran Cocal.
Longitude could only be reckoned crudely at the time, as accurate chronometers only became available in the late 18th century. The next European to visit was Arent Schuyler de Peyster, of New York, captain of the armed brigantine or privateer Rebecca, sailing under British colours, which passed through the southern Tuvaluan waters in May 1819; the name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay. In 1820, the Russian explorer Mikhail Lazarev visited Nukufetau as commander of the Mirny. Louis Isidore Duperrey, captain of La Coquille, sailed past Nanumanga in May 1824 during a circumnavigation of the earth. A Dutch expedition found Nui on the morning of 14 June 1825, named the main island as Nederlandsch Eiland. Whalers began roving the Pacific, although they visited Tuvalu only in
Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park, it is believed that Easter Island's Polynesian inhabitants arrived on Easter Island sometime near 1200 AD. They created a thriving and industrious culture, as evidenced by the island's numerous enormous stone moai and other artifacts. However, land clearing for cultivation and the introduction of the Polynesian rat led to gradual deforestation. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population was estimated to be 2,000–3,000. European diseases, Peruvian slave raiding expeditions in the 1860s, emigration to other islands, e.g. Tahiti, further depleted the population, reducing it to a low of 111 native inhabitants in 1877.
Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of "special territory." Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, comprising a single commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. The 2017 Chilean census registered 7,750 people on the island, of whom 3,512 considered themselves Rapa Nui. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world; the nearest inhabited land is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 kilometres away. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile; the name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday in 1722, while searching for "Davis Land". Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland; the island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua means "Easter Island". The current Polynesian name of the island, Rapa Nui, was coined after the slave raids of the early 1860s, refers to the island's topographic resemblance to the island of Rapa in the Bass Islands of the Austral Islands group.
However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa was the original name of Easter Island and that Rapa Iti was named by refugees from there. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island since French ethnologist Alphonse Pinart gave it the romantic translation "the Navel of the World" in his Voyage à l'Île de Pâques, published in 1877. William Churchill inquired about the phrase and was told that there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island; the phrase appears to have been used in the same sense as the designation of "Land's End" at the tip of Cornwall. He was unable to elicit a Polynesian name for the island and concluded that there may not have been one. According to Barthel, oral tradition has it that the island was first named Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka, "The little piece of land of Hau Maka". However, there are two words pronounced pito in Rapa Nui, one meaning'end' and one'navel', the phrase can thus mean "The Navel of the World".
Another name, Mata ki te rangi, means "Eyes looking to the sky". Islanders are referred to in Spanish as pascuense. Oral tradition states the island was first settled by a two-canoe expedition, originating from Marae Renga, led by the chief Hotu Matu'a and his captain Tu'u ko Iho; the island was first scouted after Haumaka dreamed of such a far-off country. At their time of arrival, the island had Nga Tavake'a Te Rona. After a brief stay at Anakena, the colonists settled in different parts of the island. Hotu's heir, Tu'u ma Heke, was born on the island. Tu'u ko Iho is viewed as the leader who caused them to walk; the Easter Islanders are considered to be South-East Polynesians. Similar sacred zones with statuary in East Polynesia demonstrates homology with most of Eastern Polynesia. At contact, populations were about 3,000-4,000. By the 15th century, two confederations, hanau, of social groupings, existed, based on lineage; the western and northern portion of the island belonged to the Tu'u, which included the royal Miru, with the royal center at Anakena, though Tahai and Te Peu served as earlier capitals.
The eastern portion of the island belonged to the'Otu'Itu. Shortly after the Dutch visit, from 1724 until 1750, the'Otu'Itu fought the Tu'u for control of the island; this fighting continued until the 1860s. Famine followed the destruction of fields. Social control vanished as the ordered way of life gave way to lawlessness and predatory bands as the warrior class took over. Homelessness prevailed, with many living underground. After the Spanish visit, from 1770 onwards, a period of statue toppling, huri mo'ai, commenced; this was an attempt by competing groups to destroy the socio-spiritual power, or mana, represented by statues, making sure to break them in the fall to ensure they were dead and without power. None were left standing by the time of the arrival of the French missionaries in the 1860s. Between 1862 and 1888, about 94 % of the population emigrated; the island was victimized by blackbirding from 1862 to 1863, res