Clipperton Island

The uninhabited French island of Clipperton Island (French: Île de Clipperton or Île de la Passion; Spanish: Isla de la Pasión) is in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 1,800 miles (2,900 km) west of Panama and 1,300 miles (2,090 km) southwest of Mexico. It is 10,677 km (6,634 mi) from Paris , France, from Papeete, Tahiti, 5,400 km (2,900 nmi), and from Mexico, 1,080 km (580 nmi). It is a private property of France from an overseas state, under the direct authority of the Overseas France Minister. It is a roughly circular coral atoll (2 square miles (5 square km)), barely 10 feet (3 m ) high in most places but with a 70 feet (21 m ) high promontory surmounted by a ruined lighthouse of the 19th century.

It is one in every of the foremost remote tropical islands on Earth; 1,000,000 ravenous crabs share a skinny ring of ground with tens of thousands of birds, 2,000 invasive rats, the rusting remains of a guano industry, and therefore the occasional adventurous visitor. The atoll is located 1,080 km (583 nmi) south-west of Mexico, 2,424 km (1,309 nmi) west of Nicaragua, 2,545 km (1,374 nmi) west of Costa Rica, and 2,260 km (1,220 nmi) north-west of Ecuador’s the Galápagos Islands at 10°18′ N 109°13′ W. The vegetation is made up of low scrub, wild tobacco patches, and a handful of coconut groves. It’s named for English pirate John Clipperton, who’s said to possess used it as a hideout within the early 18th century. Later, the island proved to be inhospitable during attempts to ascertain guano mining operations and tiny settlements there, and it remains uninhabited today.

Land elevations average 2 m (6.6 ft), though a tiny low volcanic outcrop on its southeast side rising to 29 m (95 ft) is considerably higher and is mentioned as “Clipperton Rock”. At low water, the encircling reef becomes exposed. This rock’s existence means that Clipperton is technically not an atoll, but an island with a barrier reef. This island was classified under the Guano Act as a U.S. island (1856), but was already annexed by France in 1855. It was garrisoned from 1897 to 1917, captured by Mexican forces. Since 1945, Clipperton has had no permanent residents. It is visited infrequently by fishermen, French Navy patrols, scientific researchers, film crews, and shipwreck survivors. It’s become a preferred site for transmissions by ham radio operators.

Map of Clipperton Island

Its biologically important interior lagoon, which has no outlet to the sea, is an exceptional characteristic of the island. Characterized by a high vertical gradient of salinity, the lagoon is rich in nutrients and supports plant life abundance, including vast marine grass beds covering 45 percent of its area. Clipperton contains a ring-shaped atoll which completely encloses a stagnant water (H2O) lagoon, and is 12 km (7.5 mi) in circumference. The rim averages 150 m (490 ft) wide, reaching 400 m (1,300 ft) within the west and narrows to 45 m (148 ft) within the north-east, where sea waves occasionally spill over into the lagoon.

Clipperton Island gained new significance with the completion of the Panama Canal. In 1930 the Italian King Victor Emmanuel III arbitrated the competing arguments for France’s benefit. With average temperatures of 20–32 ° C (68–90 ° F), it has a tropical oceanic climate. The season occurs from May to October when it’s subject to tropical storms and hurricanes. it absolutely was administered from French Polynesia until 2007, when France assumed direct administration of the dependency, placing it under the authority of the Minister of Overseas France.

Though 115 fish species have been recorded in nearby waters, tuna fishing is the only economic activity in the region. A high level of reef coverage, a large shark population, overly brave moray eels and an abundance of exotic fish all suggest a vibrant ecosystem. The island has been identified as a very important Bird Area by Birdlife International due to the massive breeding colony of masked boobies, with 110,000 individual birds recorded. The lagoon harbors uncountable isopods, which are said to deliver an especially painful sting.

 

Information Sources:

  1. nationalgeographic.org
  2. britannica.com
  3. wikipedia