Amanu

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Amanu
Amanu2.jpg
NASA picture of Amanu Atoll
Amanu is located in French Polynesia
Amanu
Geography
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 17°48′22″S 140°45′39″W / 17.80611°S 140.76083°W / -17.80611; -140.76083
Archipelago Tuamotu archipelago
Area 240 km2 (93 sq mi) (lagoon)
9.6 km² (above water)
Length 20 km (12 mi)
Width 10 km (6 mi)
Country
Overseas collectivity  French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Hao (French Polynesia)
Largest city Ikitake
Demographics
Population 163 (as of 2007)

Amanu, Timanu, or Karere, is an atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago. Amanu lies at right angles to neighbouring Hao Atoll; this orientation is quite rare for the Tuamotu atolls.

It is situated 900 km east of Tahiti and 15 km north of Hao. The atoll is 29 km long (northeast to southwest) and 10 km wide, but only 9.6 km² of land are above water, the rest forming the central lagoon. The surface of Amanu's wide lagoon is 240 km². There are two navigable passes to enter it.

Amanu has 166 inhabitants. The main village is Ikitake.

History[edit]

The first recorded European who arrived to Amanu Atoll was Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernández de Quirós who navigated for Spain, on 12 February 1606, while sailing across the Pacific Ocean in search of Terra Australis.[1] However, several 16th century Spanish cannons were found on Amanu in 1929, indicating that an earlier Spanish expedition had visited Tuamotu. Some historians believe the cannons belonged to the caravel San Lesmes, which was split off from the Loaísa expedition which sailed the Pacific Ocean in 1526.[2][3]

It was later visited by Spanish explorer Domingo de Boenechea in 1774, that charted them as Las Ánimas (The Souls in Spanish).[4]

Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen visited Amanu in 1820 on ships Vostok and Mirni. He named this atoll "Moller".[5]

Administration[edit]

Administratively Amanu forms a commune in French Polynesia which includes the atolls of Rekareka (uninhabited) and Tauere. The Amanu commune is associated with the Hao commune.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands, Oxford, 1960, p.65
  2. ^ Langdon, Robert. The lost caravel re-explored. Canberra: Brolga Press ISBN 0-9588309-1-6
  3. ^ Scowen, Greg. The Spanish Helmet. Whare Rama Books ISBN 978-1-4635-5848-2
  4. ^ Rienzi, M.L. Historia de la Oceanía, o quinta parte del mundo Barcelona, 1845-1846, vol IV, p.232
  5. ^ Bellingshausen

External links[edit]