Rocas Atoll

The Rocas Atoll (Portuguese: Atol das Rocas [aˈtɔw dɐs ˈʁɔkɐs]) is the only atoll in the South Atlantic Ocean.[1] It belongs to the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Norte. It is located approximately 260 km (160 mi) northeast of Natal and 145 km (90 mi) west of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. The atoll is of volcanic origin and coralline formation.

Rocas Atoll
Atol das Rocas lighthouse
Ruins of the old lighthouse, with the new lighthouse in the background
Location Rocas Atoll
LocationAtlantic Ocean
Coordinates03°52′S 33°49′W / 3.867°S 33.817°WCoordinates: 03°52′S 33°49′W / 3.867°S 33.817°W
ArchipelagoAtol das Rocas
Total islands2
Major islandsFarol; Cemitério
Area0.36 km2 (0.14 sq mi)
StateRio Grande do Norte
Official nameBrazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
Criteriavii, ix, x
Designated2001 (25th session)
Reference no.1000
State PartyBrazil
RegionLatin America and the Caribbean


ESC large ISS022 ISS022-E-79937k
Rocas Atoll, Brazil, photographed from the International Space Station by the crew of Expedition 22.

The oval atoll is 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) long and 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) wide. The lagoon is up to 6 metres (20 ft) deep and has an area of 7.1 square kilometres (2.7 sq mi). The land area of the two islets (Cemitério Island, southwest and Farol Cay, northwest) is 0.36 square kilometres (89 acres). Farol Cay accounts for almost two thirds of the aggregate area. The highest point is a sand dune in the south of larger Farol Cay, with a height of 6 metres (20 ft). Both islets are overgrown with grasses, bushes and a few palm trees. The population consists of crabs, spiders, scorpions, sand fleas, beetles, large roaches, and many species of birds.

There is a lighthouse of the Brazilian Navy that has been in operation and maintained since the 1960s, at the Northern end of Farol Bay. In its vicinity is a derelict lighthouse from 1933.

The atoll is a wildlife sanctuary, and in 2001 was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Numerous turtles, sharks, dolphins and birds live in the area. The atoll consists mainly of coral and red algae. The coral ring is almost closed, with a 200 metres (660 ft) wide channel on the North side and a much narrower channel on the West side.

The atoll and surrounding waters are contained in the Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve. The reserve it is currently used solely for scientific research. Due to their remote location, the islands remain largely undisturbed by human activities. On the other hand, the remoteness also limits researchers' access to the islands and few studies have been developed on this atoll. The entomological fauna from Atol das Rocas has been recorded.[2]

Pop culture

The atoll was the site of a missile attack on a Cobra satellite communications tracking station and robotics storage center, in the G.I. Joe comic title from Marvel Comics.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Amado-Filho, G. M.; et al. (2012-09-17), "The mesophotic zone of the only South Atlantic Atoll is dominated byrhodolith beds", in Aguirre, Julio, IV International Rhodolith Workshop, Granada, Spain: Universidad de Granada, Facultad de Ciencias, pp. 10–11 |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ Almeida CE, Marchon-Silva V V, Ribeiro R, Serpa-Filho A, Almeida JR, Costa J. 2000. Entomological fauna from Reserva Biológica do Atol das Rocas, RN, Brazil: I. Morphospecies composition. Rev Bras Biol. 60(2):291-298.
  3. ^ Trimpe, Herb (1991). "Double Trouble", G.I. Joe A Real American Hero, Vol. 1, No. 119.

External links

34th meridian west

The meridian 34° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.

The 34th meridian west forms a great circle with the 146th meridian east.

4th parallel south

The 4th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 4 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America.

Aaptos glutinans

Aaptos glutinans is a sea sponge belonging to the phylum Porifera. The species was described in 2011. It was found in the localities known as Fernando de Noronha and Atoll das Rocas (Piscina das Âncoras, Rocas Atoll) Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

Agaricia agaricites

Agaricia agaricites, commonly known as lettuce coral or tan lettuce-leaf coral, is a species of colonial stony corals in the family Agariciidae. This coral is found in shallow waters in the tropical western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is a common species and the IUCN has assessed its status as being of "least concern".

Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve

Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve (Portuguese: Reserva Biológica do Atol das Rocas) is a biological reserve in Brazil.

The reserve is located on the Rocas Atoll, an atoll 144 miles north east of the Brazilian coast.

It was created in 1979 to protect nesting sea turtles and migratory seabirds.

Duncan Dunbar

The Duncan Dunbar was a clipper constructed for Duncan Dunbar & Company in 1857. It was shipwrecked at the Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil on 7 October 1865 on the way to Sydney, Australia.

Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha (Portuguese pronunciation: [feʁˈnɐ̃du d(ʒ)i noˈɾoɲɐ]) is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, 354 km (220 mi) offshore from the Brazilian coast. The archipelago's name is a corruption of the name of the Portuguese merchant Fernão de Loronha, to whom it was given by the Portuguese crown for services rendered regarding wood imported from Brazil. Only the homonymous main island is inhabited; it has an area of 18.4 km2 (7.1 sq mi) and a population estimated at 2,718 in 2012. The archipelago's total area is 26 km2 (10 sq mi).

Administratively, the islands are a unique case in Brazil of a special "state district" (Portuguese: distrito estadual) that is not part of any municipality and is administered directly by the government of the state of Pernambuco (despite being closer to the state of Rio Grande do Norte). The state district's jurisdiction also includes the very remote Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, located 625 kilometres (388 mi) northeast of Fernando de Noronha. 70% of the islands' area were established in 1988 as a national maritime park.

In 2001 UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site because of the importance of its environment. Its time zone is UTC−02:00 all year round. The local population and travelers can get to Noronha by plane from Recife or Natal. An "environmental preservation" daily fee is charged from tourists upon arrival by Pernambuco State administration, while another fee is paid once to have access to the National Park attractions.

Index of Brazil-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil).

Johngarthia lagostoma

Johngarthia lagostoma is a species of terrestrial crab that lives on Ascension Island and three other islands in the South Atlantic. It grows to a carapace width of 110 mm (4.3 in) on Ascension Island, where it is the largest native land animal. It exists in two distinct colour morphs, one yellow and one purple, with few intermediates. The yellow morph dominates on Ascension Island, while the purple morph is more frequent on Rocas Atoll. The species differs from other Johngarthia species by the form of the third maxilliped.

Johngarthia lagostoma lives in burrows among vegetation, at altitudes of up to 400 m (1,300 ft), emerging at night to feed on plant matter and occasionally on animals. From January to March there is an annual migration to the sea to release the planktonic larvae. The species was first described (as Gecarcinus lagostoma) by Henri Milne-Edwards in 1837 from material sent to him by the naturalists Jean René Constant Quoy and Joseph Paul Gaimard, collected by the French ship Astrolabe.

List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean

This is a list of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the largest of which is Great Britain. Note that the IHO definition of the ocean excludes the seas, gulfs, bays, etc., bordering the ocean itself. Thus, for instance, not all of the islands of the United Kingdom are actually in or bordering on the Atlantic. For reference, islands in gulfs and seas are included in a separate section. Oceanic islands are formed by seamounts rising from the ocean floor with peaks above the surface of the ocean, and are not parts of continental tectonic plates.

List of islands of Brazil

The following is a list of the islands of Brazil.

Mato Grosso

Mato Grosso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmatu ˈɡɾosu] – lit. "Thick Bushes") is one of the states of Brazil, the third-largest by area, located in the western part of the country.Neighboring states are (from west clockwise) Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, Tocantins, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul. The nation of Bolivia is located to the southwest. A state with a flat landscape, alternating great chapadas and plain areas, Mato Grosso has three different ecosystems: Cerrado, Pantanal and the Amazon Rainforest. The vegetation of the open pasture covers 40% of the state.

The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, with caves, grottoes, tracks, and waterfalls, is one of its tourist attractions. In the north is the Amazonian forest, with a biodiversity originally covering half of the state. Much of this has been disrupted and cleared for logging, agricultural purposes, and pastures. The Xingu National Park and the Araguaia River are in Mato Grosso. Further south, the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, is the habitat for nearly one thousand species of animals, and many aquatic birds.

Noronha hotspot

Noronha hotspot is a hypothesized hotspot in the Atlantic Ocean. It has been proposed as the candidate source for volcanism in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago of Brazil, as well as of other volcanoes also in Brazil and even the Bahamas and the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province.

The presence of a mantle plume is controversial owing to equivocal seismic tomography images of the mantle and the inconsistent age progression in the volcanoes, especially the Brazilian ones.

North Region, Brazil

The North Region of Brazil (Portuguese: Região Norte do Brasil) is the largest Region of Brazil, corresponding to 45.27% of the national territory. It is the least inhabited of the country, and contributes with a minor percentage in the national GDP and population. It comprises the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins.

Its demographic density is the lowest in Brazil considering all the regions of the country, with only 3.8 inhabitants per km2. Most of the population is centered in urban areas.

Belém International Airport and Manaus International Airport connect the North Region with many Brazilian cities and also operate some international flights.

The North is home to the Federal University of Amazonas and Federal University of Pará.

Rio Grande do Norte

Rio Grande do Norte (lit. "Great Northern River", in reference to the mouth of the Potengi River, Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɦi.u ˈɡɾɐ̃di du ˈnɔhti̥]) is one of the states of Brazil, located in the northeastern region of the country, occupying the northeasternmost tip of the South American continent. Because of its geographic position, Rio Grande do Norte has a strategic importance. The capital and largest city is Natal. It is the land of the folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo and, according to NASA, it has the purest air in the Americas. Its 410 km (254 mi) of sand, much sun, coconut palms and lagoons are responsible for the fame of beaches. Rocas Atoll, the only such feature in the Atlantic Ocean, is part of the state. The main economic activity is tourism, followed by the extraction of petroleum (the second largest producer in the country), agriculture, fruit growing and extraction of minerals, including considerable production of seasalt, among other economic activities. The state is famous for having many popular attractions such as the Cashew of Pirangi (the world's largest cashew tree), the dunes and the dromedaries of Genipabu, the famous beaches of Ponta Negra, Maracajaú and Pipa's paradise, the Carnatal the largest off-season carnival in Brazil, the Forte dos Reis Magos is a sixteenth-century fortress, the hills and mountains of Martins, the Natal Dunes State Park the second largest urban park in the country, and several other attractions. The state is also closest to the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.


Rondônia (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁõˈdõniɐ]) is a state in Brazil, located in the northern part of the country. To the west is a short border with the state of Acre, to the north is the state of Amazonas, in the east is Mato Grosso, and in the south and southwest is Bolivia. Its capital is Porto Velho. The state was named after Cândido Rondon.


Roraima (Pemon: roro imã, "parrot mountain" i.e. "Green Peak", Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁoˈɾajmɐ]) is the northernmost and least populated state of Brazil, located in the Amazon region. It borders the states of Amazonas and Pará, as well as the nations of Venezuela and Guyana. The population is approximately 450,000 (2010) and the capital is Boa Vista. Roraima is the Brazilian state with the fewest municipalities, 15 in total.

States of Brazil

The Federative Republic of Brazil is a union of 27 Federative Units (Portuguese: Unidades Federativas, UF): 26 states (estados) and one federal district (distrito federal). The states are generally based on historical, conventional borders which have developed over time. The Federal District cannot be divided into municipalities, according to the Brazilian Constitution, the Federal District assumes the same constitutional and legal powers, attributions and obligations of the states and municipalities, instead, it is divided by administrative regions.

The codes given below are defined in ISO 3166-2:BR.

Time in Brazil

Time in Brazil is calculated using standard time, and the country (including its offshore islands) is divided into four standard time zones: UTC−02:00, UTC−03:00, UTC−04:00 and UTC−05:00.

Only part of the country observes daylight saving time, or "summer time" (Portuguese: horário de verão), as it is officially called. These areas are the Southern, Southeast and Central-Western Brazilian states.

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