Landmarks of the Federated States of Micronesia

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Reef in Pohnpei
Reef in Pohnpei / David Burdick, NOAA, / CC BY 2.0

Most interesting landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia

Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia.

Natural landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia

Waterfalls

Kepirohi Falls, Pohnpei
Kepirohi Falls, Pohnpei / Tony Tolley, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Kepirohi Falls – Pohnpei. Magnificent cascade, some 15 m tall.
  • Liduhduhniap Falls (Liduduhniap Waterfall) – Pohnpei. Spectacular waterfall with two cascades – approximately 4.5 m and 15 m tall. Interesting detail is a natural hollow at the base of falls. Water in this hollow was used for the preparation of sakau – a ceremonial drink. After rain this stream becomes wild and may be dangerous.
  • Pahntakai Falls – Pohnpei. Very tall cascade – a thin stream forming more than 30 m tall fall over an overhanging cliff. Behind the falls are small caves.
  • Sawarlap and Sawartik Falls – Pohnpei. Two beautiful, tall waterfalls located close to each other.
Pahntakai Falls in Pohnpei rainforest
Pahntakai Falls in Pohnpei rainforest / Tony Tolley, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ecosystems

  • Kosrae montane cloud forest – central part of Kosrae. One of the lower elevation cloud forest in the world, starting already at the height of 450 m. Contains numerous endemic species of plants and animals found only here.
  • Mount Winipat (Winipot, Uinipot) – Chuuk, Tol. Unique tropical forest with endemic species of plants and animals. The forest is dominated by Chuuk Poisontree (Semecarpus kraemeri) and only here lives a Teardrop White-eye (Rukia ruki) – a bird which depends on poisontree. Here lives also the Chuuk Islands Giant Millipede – a 15.5 cm long millipede and several more plants found only here (Schefflera kraemeri, Semecarpus kraemeri, Randia carolinensis).
  • Pohnpei montane cloud forest – central part of Pohnpei. One of the lower elevation cloud forest in the world, starting already at the height of 450 m. Contains numerous endemic species of plants and animals found only here (the beautiful palm Clinostigma ponapensis forms pure stands).

Other natural landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia

  • Pohndollap (Sokehs Rock) – Pohnpei. Spectacular monolith – some 275 m tall cliff. It was used as a fortress during the uprising against the German colonial government in 1910.

Man made landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia

Ancient settlements

Nan Madol, Pohnpei
Nan Madol, Pohnpei / CT Snow, / CC BY 2.0
  • Dinay Village site – Yap. Abandoned historical village with numerous remnants of stone structures, terraces. This village is located inland.
  • Lelu ruins (Leluh) – Kosrae. The former capital of Kosrae, developed sometimes around 1400 AD and inhabited until the coming of Europeans in the 19th century, when some 1,500 people lived in the city. This large island city now has ruins of more than 100 walled enclosures made of stone, royal burial compounds and shrines.
  • Likinlulem – Kosrae. Site of an ancient royal village in the south-west of Kosrae. Remnants of stone walls.
  • Nan Madol – Pohnpei. Unique archaeological monument in this part of the world – ruins of prehistoric city. Consists of nearly 100 artificial islets with massive stone walls, with the largest stones weighing up to 50 tons. A capital of Saudeleur dynasty. The megalithic structures were built in the 12th – 13th century and inhabited until the early 14th century.
  • Safonfok – Kosrae. Site of ancient village. In this site was developed industry of coral fishhooks.

Megaliths

  • Finol Tokosra stone statues – Kosrae. A group of large stones shaped like fish (manta rays), turtles, geometric figures. Also in the southern coast of Kosrae has been found large slab of basalt which might be an ancient statue, similar to statues of Rapa Nui. There are stories about large statues which existed in Kosrae in earlier times.
  • Rai of Yap – Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia. Limestone discs with a hole in the middle, diameter up to 3 meters, used as money over the last 500 years. In 1929 there were registered 13,281 stone discs all over the island, now many have been looted and some thousands remain. The largest "coins" are on Rumung Island – one coin here has a diameter of 3.6 m.

Petroglyphs

  • Pohnpaid petroglyphs – Pohnpei. A rich petroglyph find with more than 750 carved drawings and symbols. Part of petroglyphs is on a large cliff, and part (in different style) – on the nearby boulders. It is possible that the oldest petroglyphs here were made sometimes around 0 AD.
  • Tonachau petroglyphs – Chuuk, Weno. At the foot of this legendary mountain – abode of God Souwoniras and his son – in basalt cliff have been etched numerous petroglyphs.

Other man made landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia

Ancient footpath, Yap in Micronesia
Ancient footpath, Yap / David Weekly, / CC BY 2.0
  • Ancient footpaths of Yap – Yap. The villages of Yap island are connected with a network of ancient footpaths. Paths are laid with stones and are slightly elevated above the surrounding ground. These footpath have bee well preserved over the centuries and often are beautified with flowers and decorative shrubs.
  • Bechiel rural house – Yap. Old, very large meeting house, built in characteristic local style. There are more structures in traditional style in the island but Rebhiel rural house might be the most interesting one.
  • Menka – Kosrae. Archaeological site, considered to be an important religious site with the ruins of diverse structures.
  • Pingelap – Pohnpei, Pingelap. In this small island live 250 people with their own language and cultural traditions. Many people in this island have a rare disease – achromatopsia – they are color blind.
  • Sacred Lasialap Eel Pond (Pwuodoi Eel Pond) – Pohnpei. A site with unique tradition – a pond where large, tame eels live. It is forbidden to harm these fishes and tourists can admire how some local people call the eels and keep them in hands.
  • Tonata Guns and Caves – Chuuk, Weno. Natural caves, fortified by Japanese in World War II and used to house large guns.
  • Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon) – Chuuk. One of the largest ship graveyards in the world. In 1944 here were bombed and sunk 60 Japanese ships and 275 airplanes.

Described landmarks of Federated States of Micronesia

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Rai of Yap - the stone money: 9.634251, 138.156661

Highlights of the Federates States of Micronesia are:

  • Archaeological heritage. These small islands are very rich with very interesting monuments of the past. Two monuments are true "stars" of world importance – Nan Madol and the Rai of Yap, but there are many more.
  • Biodiversity above the water and below it. On the hilltops of Pohnpei and Kosrae still grow some of the lowest montane cloud forest in the world with multiple species of plants and animals found only there. Even more amazing is the underwater life with countless species of sea animals.

Featured: Rai of Yap – the stone money

Ancient footpath, Yap in Micronesia
Ancient footpath, Yap / David Weekly, / CC BY 2.0

There are many amazing things in the small Yap Island but the most surprising is the giant stone money – the famous Rai of Yap.

This is the largest and heaviest money in the world. The diameter of these "coins" reaches 3.6 meters! That’s a kind of problem to carry them around – and as a result Yapese invented their own system of clearing transactions and have managed to use this money even without seeing it!

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