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NASA picture of Tematangi Atoll
Tematangi is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 21°40′S 140°37′W / 21.667°S 140.617°W / -21.667; -140.617Coordinates: 21°40′S 140°37′W / 21.667°S 140.617°W / -21.667; -140.617
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 61 km2 (24 sq mi)  (lagoon)
7.7 km² (above water)
Length 11.5 km (7.15 mi)
Width 7 km (4.3 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Tureia
Population 58[1] (as of 2012)
Location of Tematangi Atoll

Tematangi or Tematangui is an atoll in the southeastern area of the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia. Tematangi's nearest neighbour is Mururoa, which is located 161 km to the ESE.

Tematangi is a medium-sized atoll. It measures approximately 11.5 km in length and has a maximum width of 7 km. Its reef encloses completely the deep lagoon, which is 61 km sq. There is no navigable pass to enter the lagoon.

There are many relatively large islands on Tematangi's reef, as well as a few small motu. The main village is Tuihana. There were 58 inhabitants on Tematangi in the last census.


The first recorded European to visit this atoll was Captain William Bligh on the ship Providence on April 5, 1792. At the time of Bligh's visit, it was uninhabited. Tematangi Atoll appears in some maps as "Bligh's Lagoon Island".

When Frederick Beechey visited Tematangi in 1826 he found inhabitants there. In 1857, the captain of the Julia, coasting along Tematangi Atoll saw armed natives follow the course of his schooner... "clad in many-coloured stuffs".

Demographic and Population[edit]

Father Victor Valleys Catholic missionary who was the Tuamotu Is contributed, with the inhabitants of the atolls and neighboring Reao Pukarua, plant (or restore) the coconut grove Tematangi and other atolls in the region (Maria, Matureivavao, Tenania, Vahaga, Tenararo, Vanavana, Tureia, Vairaatea, Vahitahi). In 1966, Father Victor Valleys mentioned in a letter to Bishop Maze he had planted with teams Paumotu 135,000 young coconut in these islands. Teams of workers from neighboring atolls spent three or four months a year Tematangi to harvest copra. Father Victor is concerned with the Archbishop of contamination Tematangi and surrounding atolls. Legally, the atoll Tematangi did not belong in the public domain of Polynesia: a document states that "the atoll of Tematangi was granted a final license to SCI Tematangi Vanavana in 1974. " This SCI was led by Father Victor and she is no longer active since the latter's death in 1986. For twenty years, some families moved to the village and Tematangi Teakoro was built for the permanent inhabitants. A pontoon landing was built Teakoro and a church and administrative buildings. The legal status of the population is not clear since an atoll is left operating property of SCI, under the guise of the Catholic Mission. Transactions were even made in 1998 between Vice-President of French Polynesia, Mr. Fritch, and Mr. Bruno Wan who prospected the atoll to install the pearl industry. In 2001, the village consisted of 36 residents who live in the exploitation of copra and away from: the atoll has no airstrip and external communications are still radio. Administratively, Tematangi was attached to the town of Tureia.

Antipode of Mecca[edit]

Tematangi is the closest land area to the antipode of Mecca. This means that the correct direction of Muslim prayer (qibla) varies widely between Tematangi and its neighboring islands.

This map shows the antipodes of each point on the Earth's surface; the points where the blue and yellow overlap are land antipodes (most land has its antipodes in the ocean). Both Mecca and Tematangi are to the upper left of the center of the map.


Administratively Tematangi belongs to the commune of Tureia, which includes the atolls of Tureia, Fangataufa, Moruroa, Tematangi and Vanavana.

Images & Maps[edit]

Inhabitants of Tematangi, removed to Tahiti in 1857 for killing and eating the survivors of the shipwrecked schooner Sarah Ann 
Image Source: Landsat S-07-20_2000 (1:70,000) 
Map Source: EVS Precision Map (1:70,000) 


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 

External links[edit]