Moqua Caves and Moqua Well
One of the most important local sources of freshwater in the small island of Nauru is Moqua Well – a small subterranean lake in the largest cave on island – Moqua Caves.
Map of the site
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Caves are located next to the airstrip of the international airport, some 400 m from the national parliament. Here, in the rim of the upper Miocene – Quarternary limestone plateau have formed low cliffs and caves have formed in these cliffs.
Moqua Well is a small (0.2 ha) freshwater lake in this cave. It is up to 5 m deep, average depth – 2.5 m.
This lake was the main source of freshwater to Nauruans during World War II. Later it became a beloved place where locals spent time in the shade of trees and cliffs, often consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, in 2001 there took place a fatal accident when one drunken man drowned. Since then authorities have closed the access to the lake with a fence.
- Rainbird, Paul. The Archaeology of Micronesia, Cambridge World Archaeology, 2004.
Nauru is a raised dolomitic limestone atoll. Most of its surface contained a rock rich with phosphatic fertilizers – and the island has experienced mining operations of grand scale, changing the landscape and environment. Currently the island has just a few landmarks.
Every year there are reported exciting discoveries of new caves and discoveries of new qualities such as cave paintings in the ones known before. But there still is a feeling that our knowledge covers just a small part of all these monuments of nature.
Though, those which are known to us, offer a surprising diversity of unusual features and impressive sights.
There are many factors that can make lakes, sea bays, or rivers unusual. Some lakes have unusual chemical properties and even do not contain water at all – such as lava lakes. Others may have unusual animals living in them or… legends about such animals.
Nauru History, Culture, and Tourism. Nauru People, Nauru Tradition, Lifestyle, and Environment. Nauru Book of History and tourism. The Nauruan people are the only indigenous ethnic group on the island. They are of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, and Polynesian origin and resemble the last strain most closely. Nauruans are traditionally divided into 12 clans or tribes in which descent is matrilineal, although kinship and inheritance rules have some patrilineal features.