Henderson Island


Henderson Island is an uninhabited uplifted coral island in the south Pacific Ocean,. It was designated a World Heritage Site because of its bird life and untouched phosphate reserves.

The island itself is too small and steep for agriculture and has no fresh water. The raised coral platform has 15 metres (49 ft) (50 ft) coastal cliffs (mostly undercut) with three beaches on the northern side. It has a maximum elevation of 33 metres (110 ft).

All four land bird species are endemic to the island (Henderson Crake, Henderson Fruit Dove, Henderson Lorikeet and Henderson Reed-warbler). There are also fifteen non-endemic seabirds. Other endemic species include nine plants (of the sixty-three species on island), four land snails (of sixteen species), and one butterfly (only species on island).

Although Henderson is virtually uninhabitable, archaeological evidence suggests that it was inhabited by a small Polynesian permanent colony between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries until this group disappeared.


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Site Info

Full name: Henderson Island

Site History


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  • Castaways/shipwrecked mariners The crew of the whaleship Essex, "wandering the ocean in open boats after the Essex had sunk following a collision with a sperm whale, landed briefly on the island, staying from December 20 to December 27, 1820. Three of the crew stayed and survived until their subsequent rescue on April 9, 1821 while their companions sailed for South America". (Wiki)


  • Early Pleistocene Durch weitere vulkanische Aktivitäten, die vor 900.000 Jahren zum Entstehen der Insel Pitcairn geführt haben, erfolgte eine Verformung der Erdkruste derart, dass das Henderson-Atoll noch weiter über die Meeresoberfläche angehoben wurde. (Wiki)


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