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Baker Island

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Baker Island

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Quick Facts
Capital administered from Washington, DC, by the US Department of the Interior as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system
Government unincorporated territory of the US
Area 1.4 sq km
Population No inhabitants since World War II. Visited annually by US Fish and Wildlife Service (July 2002 est.)
Internet TLD .um
Time Zone UTC -12

Baker Island is an island in Micronesia region of the Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia.

Understand

Or maybe not
In the early 2000s, a writer of "alternate histories" put up a web site which presented itself as the official site of the government of the "Republic of Baker Howland and Jarvis", portraying a bustling tourism destination, including a fake CIA World Factbook article providing statistics for the island nation. The web site is no longer online, but puzzled more than a few armchair travelers.

The US took possession of the island in 1857, and its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization was begun on this island - as well as on nearby Howland Island - but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. Presently the island is a National Wildlife Refuge run by the US Department of the Interior; a day beacon is situated near the middle of the west coast.

Climate

Equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun.

Landscape

Low, nearly level coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef. Treeless, sparse, and scattered vegetation consisting of grasses, prostrate vines, and low growing shrubs; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife.

Get in

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Public entry is by special-use permit from US Fish and Wildlife Service only and generally restricted to scientists and educators.

By plane

There is an abandoned World War II runway of 1,665 m, completely covered with vegetation and unusable. There is a day beacon on the west side of the island.

By boat

There is one small boat landing area along the middle of the west coast.

Get around

Buy

There is no economic activity on Baker Island.

See

A cemetery and remnants of structures from early settlement are located near the middle of the west coast.

Sleep

There are no accommodations on Baker Island.

Stay healthy

There are no natural sources of fresh water on Baker Island.

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