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Tuvalu - Interesting Facts About The Sinking Island


Let's be honest for a second: it's likely that you've never heard of Tuvalu. Even if you have heard of this island country in the Pacific, you likely don't know much about it.

People have lived on this small group of nine Polynesian islands in the Pacific Ocean since the 14th century, but not many people know about it. Tuvalu is a paradise made of coral reefs and palm trees, but it takes a long time to get there because there are only two direct flights from Suva, Fiji, every week.

It also has one of the most open visa policies in the world, but it's the least visited country in the world, so not many people go there. Are you interested in this beautiful island nation? Why not start by learning about these interesting things about Tuvalu?

7 Interesting Facts About Tuvalu

Traveling to the Least Visited Country in the World

COPYRIGHT_JANE: Published on https://www.janeresture.com/tuvalu/ by Jane Resture on 2022-10-12T05:07:54.549Z

It's One Of The Smallest Countries In The World

Tuvalu has the fewest people of any sovereign country in the world. Even though Vatican City is smaller, it is not a member of the UN.

Tuvalu is the third-smallest sovereign country in the world in terms of land area. Only Monaco and Nauru are smaller.

Tuvalu didn't join the UN right away because, for many years, it couldn't pay the fee to join. But when internet domain names were first given to countries, Tuvalu got the tv abbreviation, which was very popular.

In 2000 and again in 2012, the country rented out its domain for $50 million for 12 years. It used the money it made to join the United Nations, put electricity on the islands in the middle of the ocean, and start a scholarship program.

It Has One Of The World’s Lowest Elevations

Tuvalu is only two meters above sea level on average. This means that rising sea levels caused by climate change pose a very serious threat to the island.

Two of the nine islands that make up Tuvalu are already getting bigger because of erosion. There have also been talks about moving the whole country to New Zealand or Fiji.

Only 11,000 people live in the country, and most of them live on Fongafale, the biggest island. At its narrowest point, the island is only 20 meters long, and the people who live there have to fight for space.

There Are No ATMs On The Island

In Tuvalu, there aren't any ATMs. Credit and debit cards can't be used to pay at restaurants, cafes, or hotels either. If you're going to the islands, you'll need Australian dollars for the whole time you're there.

They Used To Be Called The Ellice Islands

In 1568 and 1595, Alvaro Mendana de Neyra, a Spanish explorer, was the first person from Europe to "discover" the islands of Tuvalu. Then, in 1892, it became part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, which were a British protectorate and colony.

The islands were named after Edward Ellice, a British politician who also went there. In 1976, the islands were split into Kiribati (also called the Gilbert Islands) and Tuvalu (Ellice Islands).

Tuvalu means "eight standing together," which refers to the first eight islands where people lived. Tuvalu got its freedom from Britain in 1978.

Blackbirding Has Happened In The Past

Tuvalu has a history of "blackbirding," just like a number of other islands in the Pacific. People were kidnapped in the 19th century and forced to work on plantations in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, and Peru.

This was a result of the 1860s being a busy time for business. Most of them were tricked or persuaded to join by sailors dressed as priests. Blackbirds killed a lot of Polynesian people.

Missionaries worked hard to get the Pacific Islanders' Protection Act passed in 1872, which made the practice illegal. Some islanders came back, but most stayed.

There Is No Army In Place

Tuvalu does not have a regular army. It is one of 22 countries like Andora, Dominica, Aruba, and the Cook Islands that do not have one.

It Has One Of The Smallest Economies In The World

Tuvalu has one of the smallest economies in the world because it is small, has few resources, and is in a remote part of the world. It has a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of $42.59 million.

Verisign, a company based in Virginia, rents out Tuvalu's domain to tech giants like Amazon's streaming platform Twitch. This is about 12% of Tuvalu's gross national income.

People Also Ask

How Long Until Tuvalu Is Underwater?

At high tide, water covers 40% of the capital city, and the whole small country is expected to be underwater by the end of the century.

Why Do People Not Visit Tuvalu?

This beautiful country, however, is in danger of dying out. Since the land is at sea level, rising water levels in the oceans could soon cover the islands. Travel experts say that plans to go to Tuvalu should not be put off because of this situation.

Is Tuvalu A Poor Country?

Only about 1,500 of the people who live in Tuvalu have official jobs. This does not include people who work outside of the country. Tuvalu is one of the poorest countries in the world because each person only makes about $1,000 per year. But children between the ages of 6 and 13 must go to school and it's free.


Tuvalu is a small group of islands in the Pacific Ocean that are south of the Equator. They are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and are technically in Oceania. About halfway between Hawaii and Australia is the island nation of Tuvalu.

Oceania's Tuvalu is a group of nine small islands. Five of the islands are coral atolls, which are ring-shaped reefs or groups of small islands made by volcanoes that are now underwater. The land on the other four islands rises quickly from the bottom of the sea.

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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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