Landmarks of Tuvalu

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Funafuti in Tuvalu - road and ocean
Funafuti - road and ocean / ssr.ist4u, Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

Most interesting landmarks of Tuvalu

Tuvalu is an island country. Total area of these scattered islands is just 26 km² – this is one of the smallest countries in the world. The highest elevation in islands is only 4.6 m above the sea level – thus Tuvalu is the lowest country in the world.
Nevertheless the islands are covered with lush green vegetation and inhabited by interesting people with distinct cultural traditions. Some landmarks of Tuvalu are:

  • Nanumanga Fire Caves – Nanumanga. Legendary cave located 37 m below the water level. The cave has dark patches on the roof and blackened fragments of coral on its floor, suggesting that people lived here long before the coming of Polynesians – more than 8000 years ago.
  • Tepuka and Fuakea islands – Funafuti. Thus far only on those small islands in the south-western part of Funafuti atoll has been found an endemic lizard – a gecko Lepidodactylus tepukapili.
  • Te Faleatua – Nukulaelae, south of atoll. Large stone – a site in the abandoned Niuko village where in pre-Christian times religious rites were practicised.

Described landmarks of Tuvalu

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Nanumanga Fire Caves: -6.268673, 176.320927

Featured: Nanumanga Fire Caves

The signs of the fire on the walls and charred coral fragments on the floor of Nanumanga Fires Caves wouldn’t represent anything unusual if the cave would be located above the sea level. But these caves are located 37 – 46 m below the sea level!

The ocean level was that low approximately 8,000 years ago. But current history books say that first people came in these remote islands 3,000 years ago.

Recommended books

The material culture of Tuvalu

Where the Hell is Tuvalu?


How does a young City attorney end up as the People’s Lawyer of the fourth-smallest country in the world, 12,000 kilometres from home?

We’ve all thought about getting off the treadmill, turning life on its head and doing something worthwhile. Philip Ells dreamed of turquoise seas, sandy beaches and palm trees, and he found these in the tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu. But neither his Voluntary Service Overseas briefing pack nor his legal training could prepare him for what happened there.

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