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Tuanaki or Tuanahe is the name of a vanished group of islets, once part of the Cook Islands. It was located south of Rarotonga[1] and within two days sail of Mangaia.[2]

In 1916 the Polynesian Society of Honolulu published an account by a sailor who had visited there in 1842, spending six days among the natives. However this account added that two years later in 1844, a schooner of English missionaries had found nothing.[3] Some Tuanakians who had emigrated to Rarotonga allegedly survived.

The 1916 publication re-ignited interest in the flyaway islands, and explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, when planning the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922, proclaimed as one of his goals the rediscovery of Tuanaki. The explorer died in Antarctic waters before he was able to mount a serious search for the vanished archipelago.[4]

It was suggested in 1984 that the Haymet Rocks were a remnant of Tuanaki.[5] However, the existence of the Haymet Rocks at some point is unconfirmed as well.


  1. ^ Best, Elsdon (1923). Polynesian Voyagers. the Maori as a Deep-Sea Navigator, Explorer, and Colonizer. Wellington: Dominion Museum. New Zealand Texts Collection.
  2. ^ Ramsay, Raymond (1972). No Longer on the Map. New York: Viking Press. p. 213. ISBN 0-670-51433-0. 
  3. ^ Gill, William Wyatt; Stephenson Percy Smith (1916). Rarotonga Records: Being Extracts from the Papers of the Late Rev. W. Wyatt Gill. The Polynesian Society. pp. 29–31. 
  4. ^ "Shackleton, Antarctic Explorer, is Dead". The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review. Feb 3, 1922. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  5. ^ Stommel, Henry (1984). Lost Islands: The Story of Islands That Have Vanished from Nautical Charts. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. p. 60. ISBN 0-7748-0210-3.