Palmyra Atoll

Palmyra Atoll
United States Minor Outlying Islands
United States Territory of Palmyra Island
Flag of Palmyra Atoll
Official logo of Palmyra Atoll
Unofficial Flag
Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Map of Palmyra Atoll
Map of Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll is located in North Pacific
Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll
Location in the North Pacific Ocean
Coordinates: 5°53′1″N 162°4′42″W / 5°53′1″N 162°4′42″W / 5.88361; -162.07833
Country United States
StatusUnorganized, incorporated territory
Annexed by the U.S.June 14, 1900
Named forAmerican trading ship Palmyra
 • TypeAdministered as a National Wildlife Refuge
 • BodyUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service
 • SuperintendentLaura Beauregard, Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
 • Total6.9 km2 (2.67 sq mi)
 • EEZ407,635 km2 (157,389 sq mi)
Highest elevation (Sand Island)10 m (30 ft)
Lowest elevation (Pacific Ocean)0 m (0 ft)
 • Total4–20 staff and scientists
Time zoneUTC−11 (Samoa Time Zone)
ISO 3166 codeUM
CurrencyUS dollar (USD)
Official namePalmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
Designated1 April 2011
Reference no.1971[1]
Palmyra Atoll – NOAA Nautical Chart (1:47,500)
Palmyra Atoll, 2010 satellite image
Orthographic projection over Palmyra Atoll
Coconut palms on Strawn Island at Palmyra Atoll

Palmyra Atoll (ə/) is one of the Northern Line Islands (southeast of Kingman Reef and north of Kiribati Line Islands), located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands, roughly one-third of the way between Hawaii and American Samoa. The nearest continent is almost 5,400 kilometers (3,400 miles) to the northeast. The atoll is 4.6 sq mi (12 km2), and it is located in the equatorial Northern Pacific Ocean. Its 9 mi (14 km) of coastline has one anchorage known as West Lagoon.

It is an unoccupied equatorial Northern Pacific atoll administered as an unorganized incorporated territory by the United States federal government. The 12-square-kilometer (4.6 sq mi) territory hosts a variable temporary population of 4–25 "non-occupants", namely staff and scientists employed by various departments of the U.S. Government and by The Nature Conservancy,[2] as well as a rotating mix of Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium[3] scholars pursuing research.


The atoll consists of an extensive reef, two shallow lagoons, and some 50 sand and reef-rock islets and bars covered with vegetation—mostly coconut palms, Scaevola, and tall Pisonia trees.

The islets of the atoll are mostly connected. Sand Island and the two Home Islets in the west and Barren Island in the east are not. The largest island is Cooper Island in the north, followed by Kaula Island in the south. The northern arch of islets is formed by Strawn Island, Cooper Island (or Cooper-Meng Island since former Cooper and Meng Islands were joined in 1940), Aviation Island, Quail Island, Whippoorwill Island, followed in the east by Eastern Island, Papala Island and Pelican Island, and in the south by Bird Island, Holei Island, Engineer Island, Tanager Island, Marine Island, Kaula Island, Paradise Island, the Home Islets and Sand Island (clockwise).

Palmyra Atoll is in the Samoa Time Zone (UTC−11:00), the same time zone as American Samoa, Midway Atoll, Kingman Reef and Jarvis Island.

Southernmost incorporated point of the United States

In The Insular Cases, the Supreme Court held incorporated territories to be integral parts of the United States, as opposed to unincorporated territories being merely possessions. Technically, the incorporated United States Territory of Palmyra Island has the southernmost point of the incorporated United States of America, with its southernmost shore at 5°52'15" N latitude. U.S.-controlled territories such as American Samoa (and the southernmost place, Rose Atoll) are farther south, but they are not incorporated territories of the country.[4][5]


Average annual rainfall is approximately 175 in (4,400 mm) per year. Daytime temperatures average 85 °F (29 °C) year round.

Official names

Although Palmyra is a coral atoll with several islets, not a single island, it has been called Palmyra Island since the first visit in 1802.[6] More recently it is for some purposes called Palmyra Atoll. The name of the federal territory retained by Congress since 1959 is Palmyra Island,[7] but the official name of the National Wildlife Refuge within the territory is Palmyra Atoll, as is the corresponding division of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.[8] The formal deeds, leases and federal orders for land there call it Palmyra Island.[9] Further, the islets on the atoll are also named Island, such as Kaula Island, Cooper Island, etc.[10]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Palmyra-atol
azərbaycanca: Palmira rifi
Bân-lâm-gú: Palmyra Khoân-chiau
беларуская: Пальміра (атол)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пальміра
български: Палмира (остров)
Boarisch: Palmyra (Atoll)
bosanski: Atol Palmyra
català: Atol Palmyra
čeština: Palmyra (atol)
Ελληνικά: Ατόλη Παλμύρα
español: Atolón Palmyra
Esperanto: Palmiro
føroyskt: Palmyra Atoll
français: Atoll Palmyra
galego: Atol Palmyra
한국어: 팔미라 환초
hrvatski: Palmyra (atol)
Bahasa Indonesia: Atol Palmyra
íslenska: Palmyraeyja
Basa Jawa: Atol Palmyra
kernowek: Enesik Palmyra
latviešu: Palmiras atols
lietuvių: Palmyros atolas
Limburgs: Palmyra-atol
македонски: Палмирски Атол
მარგალური: პალმირაშ ატოლი
Bahasa Melayu: Atol Palmyra
Nederlands: Palmyra (atol)
norsk nynorsk: Palmyra-atollen
português: Atol Palmyra
română: Atolul Palmyra
Simple English: Palmyra Atoll
slovenčina: Atol Palmyra
српски / srpski: Палмира (атол)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Atol Palmyra
Basa Sunda: Atol Palmyra
Türkçe: Palmyra Atolü
українська: Пальміра (атол)