NASA picture of Amanu Atoll
|Area||240 km2 (93 sq mi) (lagoon)
9.6 km² (above water)
|Length||20 km (12 mi)|
|Width||10 km (6 mi)|
|Overseas collectivity||French Polynesia|
|Commune||Hao (French Polynesia)|
|Population||163 (as of 2007)|
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.
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. 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.
- Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands, Oxford, 1960, p.65
- Langdon, Robert. The lost caravel re-explored. Canberra: Brolga Press ISBN 0-9588309-1-6
- Scowen, Greg. The Spanish Helmet. Whare Rama Books ISBN 978-1-4635-5848-2
- Rienzi, M.L. Historia de la Oceanía, o quinta parte del mundo Barcelona, 1845-1846, vol IV, p.232