Tristan da Cunha Facts
- Tristan da Cunha holds several distinctions. Not only does the lone island hold the name, but the entire archipelago also does, collectively.
- Unquestionably, this geological wonder ranks as the most remote inhabited archipelago on earth. The nearest inhabited area sits nearly 1,200 mi (2,000 km) away, and that location itself consists of a small, sparsely populated island.
- This remote location (and the accompanying islets) forms a British overseas territory, and the entire population of the main island numbers only 266 permanent residents.
- The island was discovered in 1506, by Portuguese explorer Tristan da Cunha, who, as you may have noticed, named the place after himself.
- The closest it comes to any continent is South Africa, in Africa.
Tristan da Cunha Physical Description
Tristan da Cunha consists of the main island and several much smaller islands. Also, only one other island in the archipelago boasts inhabitants.
The population of that tiny islet consists solely of the personnel of a small weather station.
The main island comprises an area of only 37.8 sq mi (98 sq km). Also, the other 6 islands combined total less than that.
The terrain of the main island remains primarily mountainous. The only flat section of any significance resides on the northwest coast.
Consequently, this understandably holds the site of the only settlement on the island.
Scientists believe that both the island and the archipelago formed from an upwelling of the earth’s mantle.
Tristan da Cunha Climate and Fauna
It also appears especially relevant that Tristan da Cunha possesses an unusual oceanic climate. Temperatures stay generally pleasant, while rainfall remains moderately heavy and quite consistent.
The sunshine also ranks as understandably rather limited. Also, a strong westerly wind is almost constant, creating an unusual climate.
However, Tristan da Cunha is best known for its wildlife since a total of 13 known species of seabirds makes the main island their home. For several of these, the islands are the only place on earth they breed.
For these reasons, the islands have also been named an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. Finally, one avian species lives only in one tiny spot in the archipelago and remains the smallest known flightless bird on earth.