oceania

Have You Heard of Tuvalu?

I hadn’t until today, when I read this article in the Times, about Tuvalu being the owner of the internet’s .tv domain.

I was intrigued about this unknown country, especially when I saw this aerial shot:

Tuvalu, by Soichiro Yamamoto/Asahi Shimbun, via Associated Press

Um, can I go there now?

Tuvalu, as it turns out, is located in the South Pacific, halfway between Australia and Hawaii. It’s comprised of nine atolls (coral reef islands), and measures in around 10 square miles, which makes it one of the world’s smallest countries. It’s also sparsely populated, with just over 10,000 residents.

To me, the island seems a bit like paradise. The pace of life is slow, and most residents don’t pay rent. Instead, they live off the land, picking fruit and fishing to meet their needs.

And just look at it!

Tuvalu, via National Geographic

Here’s the tragic part, though: Tuvalu may not exist forever. The island is at serious risk of disappearing due to rising waters and climate change. Many inhabitants have already decamped to New Zealand.

Sadly, it looks like Tuvalu may be part of the list of places you should visit before they disappear. (And it’s another reminder of how we need to travel and act consciously to prevent the loss of more of these places.)

Tuvalu, via All That Is Interesting

(Top image by Soichiro Yamamoto/Asahi Shimbun, via Associated Press, via the NY Times; middle image via National Geographic; bottom image via All That Is Interesting)