The second largest island in Micronesia, Palau is truly a sight to behold for those enchanted by the mysteries of the ocean. The archipelago is known to be one of the most popular diving destinations in the world due to the biodiversity of the marine life and the pristine condition of its reefs. There are several caves, tunnels and shipwrecks to explore, as well as cliffs to dive from. Their flora and fauna is so rich that underwater, you may even find giant clams that produce the well-known pearls, and stingless jellyfish, and in the mangroves you will find crocodiles. It is truly a sight to behold, and the people will ensure you feel very welcome in their home.
Palau – Important and interesting Facts
- There are over 20,000 people that live on Palau, an island country in the Micronesia area of the South Pacific. The 607-island nation that is the Federated States of Micronesia is one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.
- Palau includes 250 islands and Koror Island is being the most inhabited. Koror is the state comprising the main commercial centre of the Republic of Palau. It consists of several islands, the most prominent being Koror Island. The state of Koror contains about 70% of the population of the country.
- Palau is often referred to as Belau. Belau or Pelew is other term in Pelew. It is an island country and a United States Associated State located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country’s population of around 21,000 is spread across 250 islands forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. It has over 200 hundred islands out of which only 8 are inhabited. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean.
- About 21,000 people reside in Palau. Of those, about 70 percent of Palauans live on the island of Koror. The present capital of Palau is Ngerulmud. Government offices moved from Koror – the former Palauan capital – to Ngerulmud, on October 7, 2006.
- Palau covers an area of 489 square kilometers (189 square miles). Palau’s prolific, untouched reefs offer a rich wealth of coral formations and marine life. Huge caves, blue holes and a vast variety of exotic and rare marine species are easily accessible in crystal clear water.
- In the Republic of Palau, the highest point is Mount Ngerchelchuus (242m). Mount Ngerchelchuus is the Republic of Palau’s highest point, located at the border of the states of Ngardmau and Ngaremlengui, on the island of Babeldaob.
- USA began administration of Palau in 1947. Under the United Nations authority, the islands became a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
- Huge number of large pelagic predators, turtles, dolphins, sharks and many species of migratory fish which are not found anywhere in the world gather at the distinctive crossroads of three of the world’s main ocean currents in the Palaun archipelago.
- Floating Garden Islands, known as The Rock Islands, are made up of lime stones. The Rock Islands of Palau, also called Chelbacheb, are a small collection of limestone or coral uprises, ancient relics of coral reefs that violently surfaced to form Islands in Palau’s Southern Lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu, and are now an incorporated part of Koror State. There are between 250 to 300 islands in the group according to different sources, with an aggregate area of 47 square kilometres (18 sq mi) and a height up to 207 metres (679 ft). They are a World Heritage Site since 2012.
- Palau doesn’t have a military force of its own. The U.S. is responsible for its defense under a Compact of Free Association between Palau and the US. A Compact of Free Association (COFA) defines the relationship that each of three sovereign states—the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau—have entered into as associated states with the United States.
- All year round, Palau experiences a pleasantly warm climate with an annual average temperature of 27 degrees C and between July and October Palau gets its heaviest rainfall.
Palau – Cool, Fun, and Funny Facts
- The Milky Way Lagoon is famous for its being a natural spa treatment. Locals and tourists alike look forward to apply the white mud from the lagoon all over their body. Tourist guides claim that applying the mud will make you lose ten years off your age
- The Milky Way Lagoon has about 70 other marine lakes located throughout the Rock Islands. It is one of Palau’s most famous dive (snorkeling only) sites. It is notable for the millions of golden jellyfish which migrate horizontally across the lake daily.
- Helen or Helens Reef (Hotsarihie), about 70 km east of Tobi Island, is a large atoll, with one island Helen Island. The atoll is 25 km long and nearly 10 km wide, with a lagoon area of 103 km² and a total area including reef flat of 163 km². A channel leads into the lagoon from near the middle of the western side of the reef.
- The Palau Aquarium has indoor and outdoor exhibits showcasing fish and corals from around Palau. Exhibits focus on Palau’s mangrove, seagrass, inner reef, reef crest, and outer reef ecosystems. The aquarium has several endangered species, including adult and juvenile Napoleon (Hump head) Wrasse, Saltwater Crocodiles, Green Turtle, as well as protected species, such as White Tipped Reef Shark.
- The Rock Islands were once a Coral Reef that was submerged in times where the ocean levels were higher. When ocean levels receded the reef became islands. The reef that remained was entirely made up of coral which is primarily limestone.
- There are over 20,000 people that live on Palau, an island country in the Micronesia area of the South Pacific.
- Saltwater crocodiles can be found in the many mangroves and rock islands, growing up to 4.5 meters or 15 feet.
- Palau was the site for many of the Survivor reality television programs. Survivor Palau is the tenth season of Survivor. It was filmed in the island-country of Palau in the Micronesia subregion of Oceania. The main theme of the season was the Pacific Theatre of World War it is filmed at Koror, Palau, Micronesia on October 27, 2004 until December 4, 2004. The season of survivor continue running on February 17, 2005 until May 15, 2005.
- There are more than 50,000 people that travel to or are tourists to Palau per year, with attractions including the many scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities.
- Rock Islands Southern Lagoon covers 100,200 ha and includes 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin. Many of them display unique mushroom-like shapes in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The aesthetic beauty of the site is heightened by a complex reef system featuring over 385 coral species and different types of habitat.
Palau – History and Cultural Facts
- In 1855, Spain claimed the Caroline Islands (Palau and FSM). The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea.
- In 1899, following the Spanish-American War, the islands was sold to Germany. British traders became prominent visitors in the 18th century, followed by expanding Spanish influence in the 19th century. Following its defeat in the Spanish-American War, Spain sold Palau and most of the rest of the Caroline Islands to Germany in 1899.
- In 1985, the first President of the Republic of Palau was assassinated. Haruo Ignacio Remeliik was a politician from Palau. He served as the first President of Palau from 2 March 1981 until his assassination on 30 June 1985. He is buried at Kloulklubed in his home state of Peleliu.
- In 1947, USA began administration of Palau. Under the United Nations authority, the islands became a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands was a United Nations trust territory in Micronesia administered by the United States from 1947 to 1986.
- In 1979, Palau and the combined States of Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap (the Federated Stated of Micronesia), and gained separate status.
- In 1783, Palau was accidentally discovered by the shipwrecked crew of Captain Henry Wilson when he reached the shores of Ulong. Captain Henry Wilson was an English naval captain of the British East India Company, from Rotherhithe. He commanded the packet ship Antelope, when it shipwrecked off Ulong Island, near Koror Island in Palau in 1783, and the East Indiaman Warley at the Battle of Pulo Aura.
- In 1500, European explorers first discovered the Caroline Islands. Palau is part of the Caroline Islands. The Caroline Islands were discovered in the sixteenth century by the Spaniards and were so named in honour of Charles V. The Jesuits, John Anthony Cantova and Victor Walter, attempted missionary work there in 1731.
- From 1914 to 1922, the Japanese Imperial Navy had been in control. Civilian control was introduced from 1922, and Palau was one of six administrative districts within the Mandate. Japan mounted an aggressive economic development program and promoted large scale immigration by Japanese, Okinawans and Koreans.
- In 1979, Palauans voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and the Marianas (except Guam) because of language and cultural differences. A long period of transition occurred between 1979 and 1994, specifically in the capital, Koror, on the topic of relations with the United States. During this period, Palau underwent its first form of civil unrest since the last inter-village war in 1879.
- Starting in 1993, a small group of American volunteers called The BentProp Project has searched the waters and jungles of Palau for information that could lead to the identification and recovery of these remains.