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Howland Island

Howland Island is an uninhabited island in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia. The island has no economic activity. It is perhaps best known as the island that Amelia Earhart never reached.

Formally, Howard Island is an unincorporated territory of the US. It is administered from Washington, DC, by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system.

Howland Island
Political status Unincorporated territory of the US
Capital No capital
Area1.6 km²
Population 0
Time zone UTC -12
Internet TLD .UM


Main article: History of Howland Island

American civilians evacuated in 1942 after Japanese air and naval attacks during World War II; the island was occupied by the US military during World War II, but abandoned after the war. Public entry to the island is by special-use permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service only and is generally restricted to scientists and educators, though the island is visited annually by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Defense is the responsibility of the US, the island is visited annually by the US Coast Guard.


Main article: Geography of Howland Island

Located in the North Pacific Ocean at (0 48 N, 176 38 W), the island is tiny at just 1.6 kmē. The coastline is some 6.4 km in length and the island has an elongated shape on a north-south axis. The climate is equatorial, with little rainfall, constant wind and a burning sun. The terrain is low-lying and sandy:a coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef with a depressed central area. The only natural resource is guano.


Main article: Transportation on Howland Island

There are no ports or harbors: the reefs may cause a hazard. There is one boat landing area along the middle of the west coast. There is also an airstrip, no longer serviceable. It was constructed in 1937 for a scheduled refuelling stop on the round-the-world flight of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. They left Lae, New Guinea, for Howland Island, but were never seen again.

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