Maria Est

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This article is about Maria Atoll in the Gambier Islands (French Polynesia). For the island in the Austral Islands (French Polynesia), see Îles Maria.
Maria Est
Maria Est.jpg
NASA picture of Maria Est Atoll
Maria Est is located in French Polynesia
Maria Est
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 22°01′S 136°11′W / 22.017°S 136.183°W / -22.017; -136.183Coordinates: 22°01′S 136°11′W / 22.017°S 136.183°W / -22.017; -136.183
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 7 km2 (2.7 sq mi)  (lagoon)
3 km² (above water)
Length 5.6 km (3.48 mi)
Width 2.9 km (1.8 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Gambier Islands
Population Uninhabited[1] (as of 2012)

Maria Atoll[2] is an uninhabited small atoll of the Tuamotu group in French Polynesia. It is located in the far southeast of the archipelago, about 72 km southwest from Marutea Sud. Maria's closest neighbour is the small atoll of Matureivavao of the Acteon Group, 56 km to the northwest.

Maria Atoll is oval in shape and bound by a continuous reef. It is 5.6 km long and 2.9 km wide. Its islands are low and flat and the lagoon is hypersaline.

This atoll is mostly called "Maria Est" in order to avoid confusion with another small atoll called Maria (Nororotu) in the Tubuai (Austral Islands) division of French Polynesia.


The first recorded European who arrived to Maria Est was Jacques-Antoine Moerenhout in 1829. In some maps, Maria Atoll appeared as "Moerenhout Island".[2] In 1850, it was inhabited by about 40 indigenous people.


Administratively, Maria Est belongs to the commune of the Gambier Islands.


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known.". Journal of the Polynesian Society 8 (4): 264–268. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

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