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Waimea Canyon
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Palau, Micronesia
New Guinea
 

 

 

 

Palau
beautiful beach, Rock Island, Palau, Micronesia
Micronesia, Pacific Ocean
 
Earth's Natural Wonders in Australia & Oceania
 
 
Land area of Palau:177 square miles (458 sq. km.)
Highest point-Mt. Ngerchelchuus: 794 feet (242 meters)
Rock Islands, Palau [1]
   
   
oceanview cottage, Palau Plantation Resort, Palau, Micronesia
Palau is a string of 343 islands in six groups, and forms the westernmost archipelago in the Caroline chain, southeast of the Philippines. Thrust from the ocean more than 20 million years ago, ancient living reefs now form limestone islands, pockmarked with myriad fresh and saltwater lakes. Its surrounding waters contain coral reefs, blue holes, hidden caves and tunnels, and over 60 vertical drop-offs. [3]
Palau Plantation Resort, Palau [2]
 

 

Geography

Palau's most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu. The latter three lie together within the same barrier reef, while Angaur is an oceanic island several miles to the south. About two-thirds of the population live on Koror. The coral atoll of Kayangel is situated north of these islands, while the uninhabited Rock Islands (about 200) are situated to the west of the main island group. A remote group of six islands, known as the Southwest Islands, some 375 miles (600 km) from the main islands, are also part of the country and make up the states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol

Climate
Palau enjoys a tropical climate all year round with an annual mean temperature of 82 °F (28 °C). Rainfall can occur throughout the year, averaging a total of 150 inches (3,800 mm). The average humidity over the course of the year is 82%, and although rain falls more frequently between July and October, there is still much sunshine. Typhoons are rare, as Palau is outside the main typhoon zone.

Environment

Rock Islands in Palau.While much of Palau's natural environment remains free of environmental degradation, there are several areas of concern, including illegal fishing with the use of dynamite, inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste in Koror, and extensive sand and coral dredging in the Palau lagoon. Like the other Pacific island nations, a potential major environmental threat is global warming and the related rising of sea level. Water coverage of low-lying areas is a threat to coastal vegetation, agriculture, and the purity of the nation's water supply. Palau also has a problem with inadequate water supply and limited agricultural areas to support the size of the population. The nation is also vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic activity, and tropical storms. Sewage treatment is a problem, along with the handling of toxic waste from fertilizers and biocides.

Archaeology
Early Palauans may have come from Australia, Polynesia and Asia. Depending on the thread of the family, Palauans may represent many parts of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. However, they are traditionally not considered to be Micronesian. According to geneticists, there are two distinctive strains of Melanesian bloodlines: one is associated with indigenous Australians/Papua New Guineans and the other is known to have originated in Asia. There has not been any link established between the two.

In the European and Australian world Belau/Pelew is better known by the name of "The Black Islands". Vintage maps and village drawings can be found at the Australian library online, as well as photos of the tattooed and pierced Ibedul of Koror and Ludee.

Carbon dating and recent archaeological discoveries have brought new attention to the archipelago. Cemeteries uncovered on the islands have shown Palau has the oldest burial ceremony known to Oceania. Prior to this there was dispute as to whether Palau was established around 2500 BC or 1000 BC. New studies seem to dispute both of these theories. Moreover, Palau's ancient trading partner, Java, has also come under close scrutiny since Homo floresiensis was found. Like Flores, remains of small-bodied humans have been found in Palau.

For thousands of years, Palauans have had a well established matrilineal society, believed to have descended from Javanese precedents. Traditionally land, money, and titles passed through the female line. Clan lands continue to be passed through titled women and first daughters but there is also a modern patrilineal sentiment introduced by imperial Japan. The Japanese government attempted to confiscate and redistribute tribal land into personal ownership during World War II, and there has been little attempt to restore the old order. Legal entanglements continue amongst the various clans.[4]

 

 

Visit enchanting islands and coral reefs as part of Palau's best eco-tourism experience: Dolphin Bay Resort and Peleliu Divers. Explore stunning coral kingdoms with Peleliu Divers, then relax back at Dolphin Bay, watching magnificent sunsets across the calm waters of the lagoon.

You Tube Video

 

BluePlanetUnited
January 28, 2009

The World Wonders .Com-visit 1,000 world wonders at www.theworldwonders.com

 

 
 
African
American
Asian
European
Oceanian
Others
 
   
 
   
28 finalists-7 winners will be announced in 2011

 

 
References
 
1. Flickr-Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 7/12/2009
2. Flickr-Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 7/12/2009
3. 1,001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die 2005-p. 627- Michael Bright-retrieved 6/2/2009
4. Wikipedia-Palau, Micronesia, Pacific Ocean-retrieved 7/12/2009
 
 Wikipedia  text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

 

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