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Saturday, July 4, 2009

How Did New Zealand Get Its Name?

If New Zealand is "New,' then where is "Old" Zealand?

These large Pacific islands were sighted by a Dutch explorer in 1642. They were named after Zeeland, a region of the Netherlands along the North Sea. British explorer James Cook was the first to land in New Zealand in 1769 and the discovery of gold there in 1861 brought many British settlers to the islands.

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific. about 1,200 miles from Australia. The nation consists of two large islands, called North Island and South Island, plus a few smaller islands

Who Discovered The Waitomo Glowworm Caves In New Zealand?

Waitomo Cave, an underground cavern on New Zealand's North Island, never sees daylight. But there's plenty of "natural light" in this cave, produced by thousands of tiny glowing worms!

Visitors to Waitomo Cave descend into a cavern 100 feet long and 50 feet wide. They then ride a boat along an underground river.

All around them on the ceiling and walls of the cave are thousands and thousands of glowworms. the larva of a certain kind of moth, whose tails flicker with blue-green lights

How Long Is the Longest Place Name In The World Today?

If someone were to ask you the name of a certain hill on North Island, New Zealand, you could probably take the person to the top of the hill in less time than it would take to answer the question.

As this hill has a native name that consists of 85 letters, making it the longest place name still in use on earth.

In the language of the native Maoris who live in New Zealand, the hill's name means ''the hill where Tamatea, the man with the big knee who slid, climbed. and swallowed mountains, played his flute for his lady love".

Were Convicts or Miners The First Settlers In New Caledonia?

New Caledonia is a French colony that consists of about 25 islands in the South Pacific, some 750 miles off the coast of Australia.

Most of the islands are very small. The single large island, called New Caledonia, has an area of 6,530 square miles, about the same size as all the Hawaiian Islands put together.

In 1853, France took control of New Caledonia and set up a penal colony there. French convicts were sent there to serve their prison sentences. Until the 1890s, most of the Europeans on New Caledonia had come there as convicts.

Why Is July 12 So Special For Kiribati?

July 4 is a special day in the United States. But to the people of the new nation of Kiribati, July 12 will always be Independence Day.

For on that date in 1979, Kiribati joined the community of nations.

Kiribati consists Of about 35 small islands spread over some 2 million square miles of territory in the Pacific Ocean. Included in these islands are the former Gilbert. Phoenix, and Line islands.

Who Built The Ancient City Of Nan-Matal In Ponape, and Why Did They Disappear?

The people who live on the remote island of Ponape in the Pacific are simple farmers and fishermen.

There are no cities of any size on the island. However, the ruins of an ancient city suggest that Ponape may once have had a much larger population than it does today.

This city, called Nan-Matal, is located in the most hard-to-get-to part of Ponape. Nan-Matal once boasted a network of canals, a large sea wall to protect the city's port, and walls 30 feet high that surrounded the city.

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