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Last Updated: Mon Mar 3 17:53:33 UTC 2014


The Cocos (Keeling) Islands




NASA EO-1 image of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands taken in 2009. The best anchorage is off Direction Island at the NE rim of the atoll, with excellent deep water access for larger logistical vessels. The central lagoon is too shallow for military use, and environmentally fragile (NASA).

Discovered in 1609, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands were initially a privately owned asset, granted to the Clunies-Ross family in perpetuity by Britain in 1886, with jurisdiction transferred to Australia in 1955, and the Clunies-Ross family losing control of the islands by the late 1970s. The economy was since initial colonisation based on palm tree plantations, but more recently eco-tourism, especially for divers, has become prominent.

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are in geological terms a horseshoe shaped coral atoll situated on top of an extinct volcanic seamount, itself part of a submerged mountain range. The central lagoon is very shallow, and unusable for warships without deep dredging. Like other similar atolls, Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territories being a good example, average elevation above sea level is very low, and usable surface area both limited, and broken into multiple islands and islets.

The largest two islands surrounding the atoll, both inhabited, are the West Island or Brown's West Island, and Home Island in the north-east of the atoll. The total land area of the atoll is only 14 square kilometres, almost exactly half the land area of Diego Garcia, and much is covered with a former but no longer maintained commercial palm tree plantation. The local environment is typical of tropical coral atolls in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and is home to a wide variety of marine flora and fauna.

This web page contains a selection of pictures taken in October, 2012, in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Photos 2012 Gregory and Anna Molga; Imagery: Nikon D700, Fujifilm X-S1.


Map of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Central Intelligence Agency).




Aerial Views and Airport







West Island
























Direction Island










Central Lagoon















Pulu Maria Island







Prison Island









Other Interesting Wildlife Sites

http://www.wildlife-photo.org/



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Artwork and text 1994 - 2010 Carlo Kopp; All rights reserved.
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