Coconut islands


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.

Archipelago 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.

The climate is humid tropical, the cyclone season is from October to April.

Fresh water resources are small, rainwater is collected in natural underground reservoirs.

The North Keeling area is about 1.2 km², the lagoon is about 0.5 km². The atoll almost completely closes the lagoon from the ocean.

The 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 Islands.

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.