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Aranuka is an atoll
An atoll is a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.- Usage :The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi word atholhu OED...

 of Kiribati
Kiribati , officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population exceeds just over 100,000 , and is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, straddling the...

, located just north of the equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

, in the Gilbert Islands
Gilbert Islands
The Gilbert Islands are a chain of sixteen atolls and coral islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are the main part of Republic of Kiribati and include Tarawa, the site of the country's capital and residence of almost half of the population.-Geography:The atolls and islands of the Gilbert Islands...

. It has an area of 15.5 square kilometers and a population of 852 Gilbertese.


Thomas Gilbert
Thomas Gilbert (captain)
Thomas Gilbert was an 18th century British mariner.Thomas Gilbert and John Marshall were the captains of two East India Company vessels, the Charlotte and the Scarborough, returning from carrying convicts to Botany Bay in 1788, when they sailed through the Gilbert Islands and described Aranuka,...

 and John Marshall
John Marshall (British captain)
Captain John Marshall was born in Ramsgate, Kent, England on 15 February 1748. Having been bound apprentice at the age of ten he spent his life at sea...

, sailing in the East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 vessels Charlotte
Charlotte (ship)
The Charlotte was a First Fleet transport ship of 335 tons, built on the River Thames in 1787. She was a light sailer, and had to be towed down the English Channel for the first few days of the voyage...

 and Scarborough
Scarborough (ship)
'Scarborough' was a transport ship of 430 tons, built at Scarborough in 1782. She formed part of the First Fleet, which commenced European settlement of Australia in 1788....

, were the first Europeans to describe visiting Aranuka, in June of 1788.

At some point between 1860 and the late 1880s, Aranuka was conquered by Tenkoruti, king of Abemama
Abemama is an atoll in the central part of the Kiribati Group located 152 kilometres southeast of Tarawa and just north of the Equator.- Geography :...

. It was then ruled by Tenkoruti's nephew, Tembinok'
Tembinok’, or Tem Binoka, was the ruler of Abemama, Aranuka and Kuria, in the Gilbert Islands, during the late 19th century. Tembinok’'s grandfather, Teñkoruti , was the ruler of a village on Abemama, which was then experiencing devastating feuds...



The atoll has a triangular shape, predominantly formed by two large island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

s, unusually large for an atoll of this size. The largest being Buariki which creates the "base" of the triangle, and the smallest being Takaeang
Takaeang is the second largest island in the Aranuka atoll of Kiribati. It helps form the triangular shape of the atoll by forming the top corner of the triangle. It is connected to the larger island, Buariki, by a sandbank....

 which forms the top corner. These islands are connected by long sandbanks on the northern side and an underwater reef crest on the southern side which also has a wide pass to the lagoon
A lagoon is a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. The EU's habitat directive defines lagoons as "expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity or water volume, wholly or partially separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle,...

 in the centre.

Air transportation

Aranuka Airport
Aranuka Airport
Aranuka Airport is an airport, located approximately one kilometre north of the centre of Buariki on the island of Buariki, Aranuka, Kiribati....

is situated near the northern tip of Buariki.

External links