Terrain: Rough beach rises to a fertile but narrow ring around a raised, prehistoric coral reef plateau, studded with coral pinnacles exposed by phosphate mining.
Phosphate mining in the central plateau has left a barren terrain of jagged, prehistoric coral pinnacles, up to 15 meters (49 ft.
Except for a coastal strip," he continues, "it is a desert of jagged coral pinnacles
, uninhabitable, a ghostly array of tombstones baking in the equatorial sun.
Its coral pinnacles rise 60 feet or more from the sea floor to within 10 to 15 feet of the surface.
Snorkelers can join scuba trips to nearby coral pinnacles on a space-available basis ($15).