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Marshalls Island - Facts About One Of The Least Traveled Country


The Marshalls Islands, also called the Republic of the Marshalls Islands, are a group of 1,225 islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean. It is the sixth-smallest sovereign state in the world, but it covers an area about the size of Mexico: 750,000 square miles (1,942,491 square kilometers) of the ocean.

Even though it has empty beaches and great scuba diving, it's the second least visited country in the world. If you're looking for an offbeat paradise, you might want to head here. Tempted? Before you book your trip, check out our list of the most interesting facts about the Marshalls Islands.

7 Interesting Facts About Marshalls Islands


There Are 870 Reef Systems And 160 Coral Species On The Islands

COPYRIGHT_JANE: Published on https://www.janeresture.com/marshalls/ by Jane Resture on 2022-10-12T04:56:12.535Z

In the Marshalls, there are 29 different atolls with a total of 1,225 islands, 870 reef systems, and 160 different kinds of coral. It is one of only four countries that are made up of atolls.

Most of the islands are so small that there is only one road that goes all the way around them. The Marshalls Islands don't have any native mammals, but they are full of marine life, like more than 1,000 species of fish.

The Islands Were Ruled By Other Countries For Hundreds Of Years

Around 2000 BC, people from Micronesia were the first people to reach the islands by boat. They called the islands "Aelon Kein Ad," which means "our islands."

In 1521, Europeans Ferdinand Magellan from Portugal and Miguel de Saavedra from Spain were the first ones to visit the islands. Then came a long time of colonization.

In 1592, Spain officially claimed the islands. In 1885, the Germans took them over, and in 1914, Japan took them over. In 1944, the US took over for more than 30 years.

In 1979, the country was officially recognized, and in 1982, it became the Republic of the Marshalls Islands.

In 1788, Captain John Charles Marshalls stopped at the islands on his way to New South Wales with a group of convicts. From then on, the islands were called "Marshalls" on charts from the west.

The US Still Controls The Security And Defense Of The Marshalls Islands

Every year, the US gives the islands millions of dollars in aid and still controls their security and defense.

It also rents out Kwajalein as a base and place to test missiles. Because the US military is on some islands, you can't go there. The Marshalls Islands is one of 22 countries that don't have a military because of this.

It’s Home To The World’s Largest Shark Sanctuary

The Republic of the Marshalls Islands made the largest shark sanctuary in the world in 2011. Officials have proposed new laws that would make it illegal to fish for sharks for money in all of the nation's 768,547 square miles (1,9990,530 square kilometers) of water.

Palau, Honduras, Tokelau, the Maldives, and the Bahamas are the only other countries that have made similar promises. There are many different kinds of sharks on the Marshalls Islands, and many of them are in danger of going extinct.

The US Used The Marshalls Islands For Nuclear Testing For Years

Between 1947 and 1994, the Marshalls Islands were a part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), which was run by the United States.

During this time, a lot of nuclear weapons testing took place on the atolls of Bikini and Enewetak. Between 1946 and 1958, the US dropped 67 atomic bombs on the islands.

In 1954, it dropped the first hydrogen bomb from an airplane, which blew up whole islands. By the end of the 1960s, the government was very worried about the dangerous levels of radiation on the islands.

In 1969, the US started cleaning up Bikini Atoll and moving people out of the islands. Many people who were exposed to the high levels of tradition got very sick.

The USA also built a huge concrete dome to bury more than 87,782m3 (3,100,000ft3) of radioactive soil and other waste. This is the same amount as 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

They’re Under Serious Threat

With an average height of 2 meters, the Marshalls Islands have one of the lowest average heights in the world. The Marshalls Islands are in great danger because of this and the effects of global warming.

At least 40% of the buildings in Majuro are in danger because the sea level is rising. The World Bank says that at least 96% of the city is also likely to flood often.

It’s The World’s Fourth Most Obese Country

At least 83.5% of adults in the Marshalls Islands are considered to be overweight by the government. A key factor is that people in the West live unhealthy lives and have genes that make them more likely to get sick.

With the arrival of US influences, islanders gave up their traditional diets of fresh fish and vegetables and switched to highly processed, energy-dense foods. The Marshalls Islands are now the fourth fattest country in the world. In 2016, 52.9% of people were considered to be obese.

People Also Ask

What Is The Marshalls Islands Most Known For?

The Marshalls Islands are a country made up of many small, remote islands and atolls. They are known for their diving and marine life. Many of the atolls have Flame of the Forest, hibiscus, and plumeria flowers of different colors. Around the islands, there are also at least 160 different kinds of coral.

Are The Marshalls Islands Still A U.S. Territory?

The Marshalls Islands and the United States signed a Compact of Free Association in 1983. The Compact went into effect in 1986, which is when the Marshalls Islands became independent.

Can You Live On The Marshalls Islands?

24 of the atolls and islands have people living on them. The rest of the atolls are uninhabited because they are hard to live on, don't get enough rain, or have been contaminated by nuclear waste.


There are many places to dive all over the country, and you can choose one to look at the corals on Marshalls island. Maloelap Atoll is a place to go island hopping. The wonderful group of islands has the most beautiful scenery. There are also a lot of old buildings to look around.

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About The Authors

Jane Resture

Jane Resture - Since she embarked on her first world trip in 2002, Jane Resture spent the past decades sharing her personal journey and travel tips with people around the world. She has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, where she experienced other cultures, wildlife she had only read about in books, new foods, new people, and new amazing experiences. Jane believes that travel is for everyone and it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us. Her goal is to help more people from more backgrounds experience the joy of exploration because she trusts that travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer and this builds a kinder, more inclusive, more open-minded world.

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