Îles Maria

Îles Maria or simply Maria, also known as Hull Island,[2] is a small coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Its original name is Nororotu. The nearest island is Rimatara situated 205 kilometres (127 miles) to the ESE.

The atoll consists of four islets (îles), with a dense atoll forest[3] and a very shallow lagoon, supporting numerous bird species.[4] The atoll is uninhabited now, but at one time was the site of a penal colony.[5] Copra is occasionally harvested at the island.[4]

The four islands are:

  1. Île du Sud
  2. Île Centrale
  3. Île de l' Ouest
  4. Île du Nordêt

The Îles Maria should not be confused with Maria Atoll in the Gambier Islands, also in French Polynesia, which is sometimes differentiated with the name "Maria Est" (East).[6] There is also another island once known as Hull Island in the Phoenix Islands, which is now known as Orona.

Îles Maria
Native name:
Îles Maria (ISS013-E-5001)
NASA picture of Îles Maria
Îles Maria is located in French Polynesia
Îles Maria
Îles Maria
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates21°48′S 154°41′W / 21.800°S 154.683°WCoordinates: 21°48′S 154°41′W / 21.800°S 154.683°W
Total islands4
Area1.9 km2 (0.73 sq mi)
Overseas collectivityFrench Polynesia
Administrative subdivisionAustrales
PopulationUninhabited[1] (2012)


Iles Maria
Another NASA image

According to Polynesian legend, the uninhabited island was discovered by Chief Ama'itera'i of Rurutu in ancient times.[7]:558 It was made a place of exile by King Teuruarii IV and his mother and regent Taarouru.[8]:138 The island was also claimed by the neighboring island kingdom of Rimatara. The territorial dispute wouldn't be settled until 1937, when two of the four atolls were awarded to each party.[9]:108–109 This atoll is named for the whaler Maria, who sighted the island in 1824,[4] It was captained by George Washington Gardner, a Nantucket sea captain (1778-1838).[10]


The atoll Îles Maria is administratively part of Rimatara commune (municipality) in the Tubuai (Austral Islands) division of French Polynesia.


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  2. ^ "13. South and Southeast". Vikings of the Sunrise. New Zealand Electronic Text Center. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  3. ^ "Tubuai tropical moist forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  4. ^ a b c Hilary Rodgers; Tony Wheeler; Jean-Bernard Carillet (2003). Tahiti & French Polynesia. Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-229-8.
  5. ^ "Îles Maria". UN Systemwide Earthwatch Site. United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  6. ^ "Tuamotu Archipelago - Maria". Oceandots.com. Archived from the original on 2010-12-23. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
  7. ^ Patrick O'Reilly, ed. (1975). Tahitiens: répertoire bio-bibliographique de la Polynésie Française. Musée de l'Homme. pp. 557–558.
  8. ^ Michel Brun; Edgar Tetahiotupa (2007). Eteroa: mythes, légendes et traditions d'une île polynésienne. Gallimard. ISBN 2070777081.
  9. ^ Pierre Vérin (1964). "Notes socio-économiques sur l'île de Rurutu (Polynésie Française)". In Institut de science économique appliquée l (ed.). Cahiers: Humanités, économie, ethnologie, sociologie, Issue 7. Presses Universitaires de France. pp. 99–133.
  10. ^ Dunmore, John (1992); Who's Who in Pacific Navigation, Australia:Melbourne University Press, ISBN 0-522-84488-X, pp114-115

External links

22nd parallel south

The 22nd parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 22 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America.

A section of the border between Namibia and Botswana, and two sections of the border between Bolivia and Argentina are defined by the parallel.

Arago hotspot

Arago hotspot is a hotspot in the Pacific Ocean, presently located below the Arago seamount close to the island of Rurutu, French Polynesia.

Arago is part of a family of hotspots in the southern Pacific, which include the Society hotspot and the Macdonald hotspot among others. These are structures beneath Earth's crust which generate volcanoes and which are in part formed by mantle plumes, although Arago itself might have a shallower origin. As the Pacific plate moves over the hotspots, new volcanoes form and old volcanoes are carried away; sometimes an older volcano is carried over the hotspot and is then uplifted as happened with Rurutu.

The Arago hotspot is responsible for the formation of Arago seamount and uplift on Rurutu; however reconstructions of the past positions of tectonic plates and geochemistry suggest that other islands and seamounts were constructed by the Arago hotspot during the past 120 million years. These potentially include Tuvalu, Gilbert Islands, the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands as well as part of the Austral Islands and Cook Islands.

Austral Islands

The Austral Islands (French: Îles Australes, officially Archipel des Australes; Tahitian: Tuha'a Pae) are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, an overseas country of the French Republic in the South Pacific. Geographically, they consist of two separate archipelagos, namely in the northwest the Tupua'i islands (French: Îles Tubuaï) consisting of the Îles Maria, Rimatara, Rūrutu, Tupua'i Island proper and Ra'ivāvae, and in the southeast the Bass Islands (French: Îles basses) composed of the main island of Rapa Iti and the small Marotiri (also known as Bass Rocks or Îlots de Bass). Inhabitants of the islands are known for their pandanus fiber weaving skills. The islands of Maria and Marotiri are not suitable for sustained habitation. Several of the islands have uninhabited islets or rocks off their coastlines. Austral Islands' population is 6,965 on almost 150 km2 (58 sq mi). The capital of the Austral Islands administrative subdivision is Tupua'i.

Hotspot (geology)

In geology, the places known as hotspots or hot spots are volcanic regions thought to be fed by underlying mantle that is anomalously hot compared with the surrounding mantle. Their position on the Earth's surface is independent of tectonic plate boundaries. There are two hypotheses that attempt to explain their origins. One suggests that hotspots are due to mantle plumes that rise as thermal diapirs from the core–mantle boundary. The other hypothesis is that lithospheric extension permits the passive rising of melt from shallow depths. This hypothesis considers the term "hotspot" to be a misnomer, asserting that the mantle source beneath them is, in fact, not anomalously hot at all. Well-known examples include the Hawaii, Iceland and Yellowstone hotspots.

Hull Island

Hull Island may refer to:

Orona in the Phoenix Islands, in the Republic of Kiribati, and once known as Hull Island

Îles Maria, a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean, within the Austral Islands, and also formerly known as Hull Island

Hull Island, in the Beverley Group of the Northumberland Islands off the coast of Queensland, Australia

Index of French Polynesia-related articles

This page list topics related to French Polynesia.

List of islands of France

This is a list of islands of France, including both metropolitan France and French overseas islands.

Macdonald seamount

Macdonald seamount (named after Gordon A. MacDonald) is a seamount in Polynesia, southeast of the Austral Islands and in the neighbourhood of a system of seamounts that include the Ngatemato seamounts and the Taukina seamount. It rises 4,200 metres (13,800 ft) from the seafloor to a depth of about 40 metres (130 ft) and has a flat top, but the height of its top appears to vary with volcanic activity. There are some subsidiary cones such as Macdocald seamount. The seamount was discovered in 1967 and has been periodically active with gas release and seismic activity since then. There is hydrothermal activity on Macdonald, and the vents are populated by hyperthermophilic bacteria.

Macdonald seamount is the currently active volcano of the Macdonald hotspot, a volcanic hotspot that has formed this seamount and some other volcanoes. Eruptions occurred in 1967, 1977, 1979–1983 and 1987–1989, and earthquakes were recorded in 2007. The activity, which has produced basaltic rocks, has modified the shape of the volcano and may lead to the formation of an island in the future.

Tamaeva IV

Tamaeva IV (died 1892) was the reigning queen of the Polynesian island of Rimatara who ruled from 1876 until her death in 1892. French sources refer to her as Temaeva, and one Australian newspaper called her Te Maere, while her tombstone in Rimatara gives her name as Tamaeva.

Tamaeva V

Tamaeva V or Temaeva V, formally Heimataura Tamatoa Tamaeva V (c. 1830–1923), was the Arii vahine no Rimatara or queen of the island kingdom of Rimatara from 1892 to 1901. Her reign came to an end with the formal annexation of Rimatara (the independent Austral Islands) to France. She was responsible for saving the Rimatara lorikeet (Vini kuhlii) from extinction during the early 20th century.

Teuruarii IV

Teuruarii IV, born Epatiana a Teuruarii (8 August 1879 – c. 1933/1936), was the last King of Rurutu, an island within the larger Austral Islands archipelago, who ruled from around 1886 until the annexation of the island to France in 1900. Proclaimed king upon his father's abdication while still a child, his mother ruled as regent. During this regency the Church of Moerari was consecrated and the death penalty was abolished.

Teuruarii's reign was disrupted by ongoing French expansionism in the Pacific. Teuruarii entreated the British to place Rurutu under a British protectorate, which the islanders deemed more favorable due to their predominant adherence to Protestantism. These efforts failed and Rurutu was proclaimed a protectorate of the French Third Republic on 27 March 1889. Teuruarii was allowed to continue ruling as king until the annexation of the island to the territory of French Oceania in 1900, today part of the overseas country of French Polynesia. Living out the remainder of his life as a village chief, Teuruarii left many descendants who would have a strong influence in the islands to the modern day.


Tubuai or Tupua'i is the main island of the Tubuai Island group, located at 23°23′00″S 149°27′00″W, 640 km (400 mi) south of Tahiti. In addition to Tubuai, the group of islands include Rimatara, Rurutu, Raivavae and the uninhabited Îles Maria. They are part of the Austral Islands in the far southwest of French Polynesia in the south Pacific Ocean. Tubuai island sustains a population of 2,217 people on 45 km² of land. Due to its southerly position, Tubuai has notably cooler weather than Tahiti.The island is ringed by a lagoon formed by an encircling coral reef. A break in the reef that enables passage for ships is located on the north side of the island. Tubuai has two volcanic domes, with its highest point, Mt Taita'a, being 422 meters. Six or seven islets called motus lie along the reef rim that encircles the island. These were described in the late 1700s as having an abundance of Toa trees, which the native islanders used in housebuilding and in making war clubs and spears due to the wood's density.

USS United States (1797)

USS United States was a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy and the first of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. The name "United States" was among ten names submitted to President George Washington by Secretary of War Timothy Pickering in March of 1795 for the frigates that were to be constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so United States and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built at Humphrey's shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and launched on 10 May 1797 and immediately began duties with the newly formed United States Navy protecting American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France.

In 1861 United States was in port at Norfolk and was seized by the Virginia Navy and subsequently commissioned into the Confederate navy as CSS United States, but was later scuttled by Confederate forces. Union forces raised the scuttled ship, and retained control of the ship until she was broken up in 1865.


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