Territory

Wonders of Midway Atoll

Albatrosses are everywhere, Midway Atoll
Albatrosses are everywhere, Midway Atoll / David Patte, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

This atoll is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Above the sea level rise several smaller islands which have 6,2 km² large land area.

The atoll was an important military base for the United States throughout the 20th century and here have been fought heavy battles during World War II. But, as the Cold War ended, in 1988 the atoll was designated as National Wildlife Refuge. Here live some 60 people.

This is one of the most northerly atolls in the world: only the nearby Kure Atoll is some 20 km further to the north.

Sand Island and Eastern Island serve as a nesting sites for some 2 million seabirds – here are nesting significant populations of 19 bird species. Each bird species has found a certain habitat and location. Here live some 450 thousand pairs of Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) – a major part of the world population and more than 20 000 pairs of Black-footed Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes). The local plant life has been supplemented by numerous introduced species.

Rich marine life is also under the water – including over 250 species of fish, a pod of some 250 spinner dolphins seen in the lagoon every day, and several endemic species of mollusks.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldYellow Recommended books

Midway: A Guide to the Atoll and Its Inhabitants


Set like a gem in the vast Pacific Ocean, halfway between Tokyo and San Francisco, Midway us a nature-lover’s dream. The atoll hosts the world’s largest albatross nesting colony. Amazingly approachable tropicbirds, terns, boobies, and frigatebirds also net there. Reefs surrounding Midway teem with rainbow-hued corals and fishes, as well as sea turtles, monk seals, and Hawaiian spinner dolphins.

Diving Hawaii and Midway


“The Islands” have become one of the most popular diving areas in the world, but most divers only scratch the surface of this very challenging archipelago. Mike Severns and Pauline Fine-Severns have more than 20 years of experience in the waters of these islands, and their combined dives number well into the five figures. In Diving Hawaii they share this unparalleled experience.


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