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NASA picture of Temoe Atoll
Temoe is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 23°20′S 134°28′W / 23.333°S 134.467°W / -23.333; -134.467Coordinates: 23°20′S 134°28′W / 23.333°S 134.467°W / -23.333; -134.467
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi)  (lagoon)
2.1 km2 (0.8 sq mi) (above water)
Length 6.8 km (4.23 mi)
Width 4.2 km (2.61 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Gambier Islands
Population Uninhabited[1] (2012)

Temoe, or Te Moe, is a small atoll of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. It is located in the far southeast of the Tuamotu group archipelago. It lies about 37 km southeast from the Gambier Islands and more than 1,700 kilometres (1,100 miles) southeast from Mataiva, at the other end of the Tuamotu archipelago.

Temoe Atoll is trapezoidal in shape and bound by a continuous reef with many small shallow spillways. It is 6.8 kilometres (4.2 miles) and has a maximum width of 4.2 kilometres (2.6 miles). The lagoon has a maximum depth of 23 metres (75 feet).[2] Its islands are low and flat and the lagoon has no navigable pass to enter it.

Temoe is permanently uninhabited. Administratively it belongs to the commune of the Gambier Islands.[3]

25,000 metres (82,000 feet) southwest of Temoe Atoll lies Portland Reef, a submerged shoal lying at a depth of about 10 metres (33 feet) .[4]


Temoe was formerly inhabited. There are ancient Polynesian archaeological remains on this lonely atoll; foremost among these are temple structures (marae).[5]

It is said that buccaneer Edward Davis might have arrived at Temoe and Mangareva in 1686. But there is no historical proof of this fact.[6]

The first recorded European to effectively arrive at Temoe was British mariner James Wilson on the ship Duff in 1797. Captain Wilson named this atoll "Crescent Island".[7]

In 1838 Christian missionaries moved all the inhabitants of Temoe to Mangareva to help in construction work.[8]

There is an account of fact mixed with fantasy about "Crescent Island". The author is Mr. William (Bill) Turner from Cypress, Texas.[9] Turner has even minted Crescent Island currency, known as "Poa".[10]


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