Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

Hawaii’s Forgotten Islands

the U.S state of Hawaii lies on an Island’s chain in the tropical North Pacific and is the newest of the US’s 50 states if you’ve ever seen a map of Hawaii it probably looked something like this with four big islands and four slightly smaller Islands but this isn’t actually all of Hawaii this is let’s explore the Hawaiian Islands formed from a volcanic hot spot underneath the Pacific that’s been spewing lava for at least 85 million years as the hot spot and the C4 move relative to each other the erupting lava forms a chain of islands that slowly erode into Coral atolls before sinking Beneath the Sea the major Hawaiian Islands are the newest in that chain the island of Hawaii or the Big Island followed by Maui Oahu and Kauai the islands get progressively older and less volcanically active towards the north and west ancient Hawaiians knew this pattern saying that the volcano goddess Pele first arrived in Hawaii on the Chain’s northern islands making her way down the chain before eventually settling on the slopes of Kilauea the big Island’s most active volcano today before we get to the forgotten Islands let’s do a quick overview of the main ones the big island of Hawaii contains 63 percent of the archipelago’s land and is home to over 200 000 people the island is made of five overlapping volcanoes three active one extinct and one dormant Mauna Kea the highest and the dormant one is sometimes considered the tallest mountain on Earth being over thirty thousand feet or 9 300 meters when measured from its base at the ocean floor Maui is the next Island over and the next largest and is home to another active volcano Haleakala three smaller Islands lie to Maui’s East Molokai home to Tiny kalawau County on the Island’s Northern Shore Lanai owned almost entirely by Tech billionaire Larry Ellison and kahulawe Hawaii’s largest uninhabited Island once used as a munition’s testing site together these four Islands form Maui County about half a million years ago the four were one huge island known to geologists as Maui Nui or greater Maui but erosion subsidence and sea level rise have separated them since then the next island is Oahu the Chain’s most populous island with over a million residents Oahu is home to Honolulu the capital of Hawaii since 1850 as a kingdom brief Republic U.S territory and now U.S state oahu’s Pearl Harbor is the headquarters of the U.S Pacific Fleet and was famously attacked by Japan in 1941 bringing the U.

S into World War II Kauai a neighboring Niihau are the last of the Chain’s major islands kawhi’s King kamu Ali was the last of the archipelago’s rulers to submit to King Kamehameha of Hawaii in 1810 and in fact in 1815 briefly tried to make the island a protectorate of the Russian American company the chartered company in charge of what’s now Alaska knee how is privately owned and off limits to most visitors since the main Hawaiian Islands get older and smaller as you go Northwest you might expect there to be even older and even smaller Islands even farther Northwest as it turns out that’s exactly correct they’re called the Northwestern Hawaiian islands and they’re the remnants of older Hawaii Hot Spot volcanoes that have mostly but not completely sunk below the ocean’s surface the waters around these islands are protected of the papahana mokuakea Marine National Monument established in 2006 and expanded in 2016.

Hawaii's Forgotten Islands

all but one of them are part of the state of Hawaii and administratively part of the City and County of Honolulu similar to how many of Japan’s remote islands are administratively part of the Tokyo Metropolis that one exception is actually the most famous of the islands Midway atoll the site of a major battle of World War II Midway is its own U.S territory now administered by the fish and wildlife service its former military Airfield Henderson field is now an emergency landing site for trans-pacific flights the modern Hawaiian names for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands derived partly from oral tradition and partly from descriptive names based on the Island’s features for instance Midway is also known as kwahilani the name of a mythical floating island in the sky or sphamanu referring to the Island’s many birds archeology confirms that Hawaiians had a relationship with these islands nihoa the southeasternmost island was permanently inhabited by Hawaiians between about 1400 and 1800 CE the next Island over called Necker Island or mokumana Mana was also visited by Hawaiians as a religious site and they left many artifacts the French frigate Shoals or Lalo make up the next and largest atoll in the chain which mostly lies just below the surface but with some land above water including a central volcanic pinnacle the shoals English name comes from the fact that they were first added to European maps by Explorer Jean Francois de la peruz who was French and almost crashed his frigates on the Shoals the atoll was also the Rendezvous point for a 1942 Japanese attack on Oahu using a pair of seaplanes next up is the Gardner Pinnacles or puhahonu the only above water outcroppings of the world’s largest shield volcano by volume while the Pinnacles are less than six acres the puhahonu volcano contains about 150 000 cubic kilometers of Rock Mario Reef or kohanakoa has some land exposed at low tide but the next true island in the chain is lysen or coo lysan has a hyper saline Lake in its Center making it a Haven for birds the island was mined for guano in the late 19th and early 20th century and introduced a species devastated its ecosystem after Decades of restoration lysan is once again an incredible habitat for Birds including the world’s rarest duck liciansky island or papa apoho is ecologically similar to lysine both being Coral atolls in about 1904 feather collectors began raiding the Island’s Birds President theor Roosevelt declared liciansky part of a bird reservation in 1909 but the feather collectors ignored him until they were arrested in 1910 by armed government agents Pearl and Hermes atoll or haloi kawawa lies between liciansky and Midway and has only about 80 acres of land above water with islets continuously emerging and subsiding from the underlying Reef after passing Midway which we’ve already discussed we come to the last islands in the chain Curry atoll or moku papapa kuri is the northernmost Coral atoll in the world and lies close to the theoretical Darwin point the coldest temperature where Coral can grow faster than it naturally subsides or erodes Curry is over 1600 miles from the far end of the Big Island longer than the distance across any other state besides Alaska and in fact Curry is slightly closer to Alaska’s matignac Island than it is to the far end of the Big Island Beyond Curry the older volcanoes of the Hawaii Hot Spot form the emperor’s sea mounts a chain of underwater mountains stretching to the edge of the Pacific none of which are currently above water a few more Islands outside the Hawaiian island chain were politically part of Hawaii when it was a kingdom or territory including Johnston and Palmyra atolls now U.S territories and potentially sikhayana in the Solomon Islands but there’s one more Island we should mention in Hawaii itself the next Hawaiian island kamaehua kanaloa formerly known as loihi is an undersea volcano a bit less than a kilometer below the surface off the Southeast coast of the big island of Hawaii the volcano’s former scientific name means long referring to its shape while its current name comes from a historic Hawaiian chants and means red child of kanaloa an ocean God which seems fitting for a growing undersea volcano it’s definitely in no rush to reach the surface it’s expected to become a new Hawaiian island sometime between ten thousand and a hundred thousand years from now so these islands from famous to less than famous and from ancient to still forming showcase the dynamic history of this corner of the earth and the people and other creatures who live on it be sure to leave your feedback in the comments and subscribe if you want to see more like this and as always thanks for watching [Music] foreign [Music]

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