One of the most isolated lands on Earth, without any surrounding archipelago (Wikipedia)
Looking at the Pacific ocean as a whole, Clipperton appears to be close to the Americas; not so; it lies 1,280 km from the Mexican coast, that is 3 to 4 days of navigation from Acapulco.
This web page is more a scrapbook than anything else, trying to gather what is not in official references. Any contribution is welcome.
The Internet provides some starting points, with a history well worth reading:
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%8Ele_de_Clipperton (French Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipperton_Island (English Wikipedia)
A couple of web sites really stand out by their thoroughness (in French only, but nice pictures):
http://clipperton.fr/ by Christian Jost
http://www.jeanlouisetienne.com/clipperton/ by Jean-Louis Étienne
And more and more pictures appear as well:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/va7dx/sets/72157604221433086/ flickr.com 2008
http://3d-photography.com/Clipperton_Island/ Clipperton in 3-D, by Chris Grossman
[your link here!]
Map from 1711 (bizarrely upside down) with its original name (Ile de la Passion)
A very unique feature of Clipperton is its "rocher" of basaltic rock, 3.7 million years old. The island is the remnant of a volcano, rising more than 3000 m (10,000 feet) from the ocean floor, from the edge of what is now called the Clipperton Fault. The Clipperton rock has been a training target for the guns of Navy ships....
Large scale seafloor map (Andris Jersovs)
radar view (Andris Jersovs)
In 2010, as can be seen from pictures further down, the coconut trees exist only in small clusters. Vegetation is losing ground.
Because of the number of birds in flight at any time, someone standing on the island is exposed to between 1 and 2 hits per day. It is recommended to walk on the island with a broad-rimmed hat....
Envisioning the crabs as some renewable source of food is mistaken; their meat is toxic for humans.
There were thousands of lobsters on the periphery od the island in the 1960s; in 2010 they were practically all gone.
The island was encircled by hundreds of hammerhead sharks even in the time of Cousteau; they have vanished.
Because of rain, the top layer of the lagoon (closed since the 1850s) is essentially fresh water (< 4 g/l NaCl), and progressively reaches 35 g/l in the "trou sans fond", that is more than the 31 g/l of the open sea around. Fresh does not mean drinkable, though, because of the presence of H2S (more from microbiology than volcanic emanations) and other decay material.
Man activity can be good Pigs introduced 1897bmuch more vegetation last wild pig killed 1960s pretty desertic since pigs eat crabs and ground-nesting birds
illegal fishing and relay point for drug trafficking
Sample collected by Dr. Benedict Termini
Download a PDF Postal Gazette article from Wolfgang Baldus.
In 1972 some entrepreneurial spirits bought a Douglas DC-7 for $65,000 with the intent of landing at Clipperton, collecting lobsters, and flying them back to Los Angeles for $3.50 / pound. The first time they tried, they did not find the island, so they installed a radio beacon on it for the following flights (Al Press via R. Leeuw).
These flights must have been successful, together with all the ship-based illegal fishing, since there are no lobsters anymore.
ref Cybergeo : Revue européenne de géographie, N° 314, 01 juillet 2005 Risques environnementaux et enjeux à Clipperton (Pacifique français) Environment hazards on Clipperton Island (French Pacific): what is at stake? Christian JOSTAbandoned development project (SEDEIC)
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