Baker Island

Oceania > Polynesia > Baker Island


LocationBakerIsland.png
Population 0 (2018)
Time zone UTC−12:00

Baker Island is an uninhabited unincorporated territory of the United States—one of the smallest U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. It is in Polynesia, a region of the Pacific Ocean, north of Kiribati, roughly halfway between Hawaii and mainland Australia.

Understand[edit]

Or maybe not

In the early 2000s, a writer of "alternate histories" put up a web site which presented itself as the official site of the government of the "Republic of Baker Howland and Jarvis", portraying a bustling tourism destination, including a fake CIA World Factbook article providing statistics for the island nation. The web site is no longer online, but puzzled more than a few armchair travelers.

History[edit]

The US took possession of the island in 1857, and its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization was begun on this island—as well as on nearby Howland Island—but it was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The island is now a National Wildlife Refuge run by the US Department of the Interior; there is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast.

Landscape[edit]

Low, nearly level coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef. Treeless, sparse and scattered vegetation consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Climate[edit]

Equatorial: scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun.

Get in[edit]

A simple outline of the island
In all its glory, including dilapidated runway.

By plane[edit]

A photo of the island
And here it is in living color.

There is an abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m (5,463 ft), completely covered with vegetation and unusable.

By boat[edit]

There is one small boat landing area along the middle of the west coast.

Fees and permits[edit]

Public entry is by special-use permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service and generally restricted to scientists and educators.

See[edit]

There are a cemetery and remnants of structures from early settlement near the middle of the west coast.

Do[edit]

Buy, eat and drink[edit]

There is no economic activity on Baker Island.

Sleep[edit]

There is no accommodation on Baker Island.

Stay healthy[edit]

There are no natural sources of fresh water on Baker Island—come with some distilled water and purification tablets.

Go next[edit]

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