Forgotten World (195): Christmas Island

Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company vessel, the “Royal Mary”, named the place Christmas Island when he arrived on Christmas Day, 25 December 1643. At Australia’s request, the United Kingdom transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1957; today Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands together are called the Australian Indian Ocean Territories and since 1997 share a single Administrator resident on Christmas Island.
It has a population of 1,403 residents who live in a number of “settlement areas” on the northern tip of the island. The island’s geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of uniqueness amongst its flora and fauna, which is of significant interest to scientists and naturalists.


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