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Christmas Island

 

Christmas Island is a territory belonging to Australia, situated in the Indian Ocean. The territory gets its name from the fact that it was discovered on Christmas day. A little over 2,000 people inhabit 4 settlements on the island: Flying Fish Cove, which is also the capital and largest city, Silver City, Drumsite, and Poon Saan. Most of the residents are of Chinese ethnicity. The de facto official language is English.

The Island features a tropical equatorial climate, with little variation in temperature throughout the year. More than half of the island’s surface is considered a national park land. The Island’s flora and fauna are quite rich and diverse, but since the region has been inhabited numerous species have become extinct and many others are endangered.

Much of the island’s economy relies on aid received from Australia. Until 1987, the main economic activity on Christmas Island had been phosphate mining, but the mine has since been closed. The local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).

There is one high school operating on Christmas Island, but residents who wish to further their studies are required to do so in Australia.

There are a number of touristic attractions on Christmas Island. There are about 42 caves in the region, of various types: plateau caves, raised caves, alcoves, coastal caves, and so on. One of the most popular local events is the annual breeding migration of the island’s red crabs. Amongst water-related sports, snorkelling and swimming are particularly popular. 

 

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