Cocos Islands or Keeling is a group of 27 small coral islands
located in the Indian Ocean. It is the External Territory of
Australia under the name Territory of the Cocos (Keeling Islands).
Area - 14 km². The population is 596 people. (2014), about 80% of
them are Malays (coconut Malays). Administrative Center - West
Island is located on the West Island. The official language is
English. 80% of the population professes Islam.
of coral origin. It consists of the southern part and separately
located 25 km to the north of the uninhabited North Keeling island.
The highest altitude is 5 m. The total area is 14 km².
climate is humid tropical, the cyclone season is from October to
Fresh water resources are small, rainwater is
collected in natural underground reservoirs.
Keeling area is about 1.2 km², the lagoon is about 0.5 km². The
atoll almost completely closes the lagoon from the ocean.
South Keeling Islands comprise 26 tiny islets, of which only two
islands are permanently inhabited - West Island and Home. The total
area of the South Keeling Islands is 13.1 km².
The islands were discovered by the English captain William
Keeling in 1609.
On December 6, 1825, the islands were
visited by British captain John Clooney Ross. February 27, 1827, he
founded a settlement on South Island, and in 1831 - took possession
of all the islands, declaring them the feudal possession of the
Klunis-Ross family. Annexed by Britain in 1857, and in 1878
transferred under the control of the governor of Ceylon. From July
7, 1886, Queen Victoria granted the Klunis-Ross family to perpetual
possession. In 1886, they were included in the Straits Settlements
colony, to which Christmas Island was subsequently annexed. The
submission of the Straits-Setlments was formal, in fact, the Clunis
Rossi controlled the islands at their discretion and even issued
their own currency from 1887 to 1978 - the rupee of the Cocos
On November 9, 1914, during the First World War, a
battle took place near the islands between the Australian cruiser
Sydney and the German raider - the cruiser Emden, as a result of
which the German cruiser was badly damaged and threw itself on
stones, part of the German team fled through the Cocos Islands and
returned to Germany.
Since November 23, 1955 transferred
under the control of Australia. On September 1, 1978, the Australian
government bought almost all of the land from a descendant of Clunis
Ross; the remainder was purchased in 1986. On April 6, 1984, a
referendum was held on the self-determination of the islands. Most
spoke in favor of maintaining ties with Australia.