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The Glorieuses or Glorioso Islands (French: Îles Glorieuses or officially also Archipel des Glorieuses) are a group of French islands and rocks totalling 5 square kilometres (1,200 acres), at Coordinates: , in the northern Mozambique channel, about 160 kilometres (99 mi) northwest of Madagascar. The Glorieuses have an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 48,350 square kilometres (18,670 sq mi). There are anchorages offshore, and Grande Glorieuse has a 1,300-metre (4,300 ft) long airstrip.
The archipelago consists of two islands, Grande Glorieuse ( ) and Île du Lys, as well as eight rock islets (Roches Vertes): Wreck Rock ( ), South Rock ( ) and Verte Rocks ( ) and three others that are unnamed. They form part of a coral reef and lagoon. Grande Glorieuses is roughly circular and measures about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) across. It is thickly vegetated, mainly by the remains of a coconut plantation and casuarina trees.
The climate is tropical and the terrain is low and flat, varying from sea level to 12 metres (39 ft). Île de Lys in particular is a nesting ground for migratory seabirds, and turtles lay eggs on the beaches.
Perhaps earlier known to Arab navigators, the Glorieuses were named and settled in 1880 by a Frenchman, Hippolyte Caltaux, who established a coconut plantation on Grande Glorieuse. The archipelago became a French possession in 1892 when Captain Richard of the Primauget made a formal claim.
From 1914 to 1958 concessions to exploit the islands were given to Seychelles companies. The islands are today nature reserves with a meteorological station garrisoned by French troops (The French Foreign Legion). Madagascar continues to claim sovereignty over the islands, as do the Comoros and the Seychelles.
- "Disputes - International". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "Seychelles has claim on Glorieuses and Tromelin, says historian Durup". Seychelles eNews. 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2014-01-03.