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Howland Island

Main attractions

Earhart Light, Howland Island
Earhart Light / Joann94024, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, / CC BY-SA 3.0

This uninhabited atoll is a possssion of the United States. This elongated island is 1.8 km² large and is low lying – up to 6 m above the sea level, without fresh water and with scarce vegetation of grasses, low lying shrubs and trees.

The island is used by numerous sea birds and marine wildlife, it is protected area. Two marine molluscs – a snail Engina ovata and shell Neothais rugulosa – are found only here.

The island contains scarce remnants of prehistoric settlement by ancient Melanesians and Polynesians – it might have been inhabited already around 1000 BC. Due to the lack of freshwater and scarce natural resources the settlement was abandoned.

One more settlement – Itascatown – was developed by Americans in 1935 and abandoned in 1942.

Earhart Light – a daytime beacon – was built to provide orientation of the unlucky flight of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in their round-the-world flight in 1937 – their plane did not reach the island. The beacon was renewed after the World War II but is abandoned now and in a ruinous state.

List of described attractions

Map of Howland Island

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