Tristan da Cunha

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Tristan da Cunha

(trĭs`tăn də ko͞o`nə), group of volcanic islands in the S Atlantic, about midway between S Africa and S America, part of the British Saint HelenaSaint Helena
, island, 47 sq mi (122 sq km), in the S Atlantic Ocean, 1,200 mi (1,931 km) W of Africa. Together with the islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, it comprises the British overseas territory of St. Helena (2015 est. pop. 7,800). The capital and port is Jamestown.
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 overseas territory. The only habitable island of the group is Tristan da Cunha (1999 pop. 286), formed by a volcano rising to c.6,760 ft (2,060 m). The other islands are Gough, Nightingale, and Inaccessible, the last being the home of the flightless rail, an almost extinct bird. The first inhabitants came from St. Helena in the 19th cent. Fishing is the chief industry.

History

The island group was discovered by the Portuguese in 1506 and was visited by whalers, seal hunters, and explorers. In 1816 it was annexed by Great Britain, and in 1938 it became a dependency of the colony of St. Helena. An important meteorological and radio base was set up in 1942. The volcano, long dormant, erupted in 1961; the population was evacuated and transported to England. In 1962, however, the islanders decided to leave England and return to Tristan da Cunha, which they did the following year.

Bibliography

See A. Falk-Rønne, Back to Tristan (1967).

Tristan da Cunha

 

a British dependency consisting of four volcanic islands in the South Atlantic Ocean at 37°06’ S lat., 12°01’ W long. The islands were named for Tristäo da Cunha, the Portuguese navigator who discovered them.

Tristan da Cunha Island, the largest of the four islands, has an area of 117 sq km and a population of 271 (1969). The island is the cone of a volcano (elevation 2,060 m). Until 1961 the volcano seemed extinct; but in October of that year it erupted, and the entire population was evacuated. The inhabitants returned in 1963.

The economic activity of Tristan da Cunha includes fishing, the cultivation of vegetables, and seal and penguin hunting.

Tristan da Cunha

a group of four small volcanic islands in the S Atlantic, about halfway between South Africa and South America: comprises the main island of Tristan and the uninhabited islands of Gough, Inaccessible, and Nightingale; discovered in 1506 by the Portuguese admiral Tristão da Cunha; annexed to Britain in 1816; whole population of Tristan evacuated for two years after the volcanic eruption of 1961. Pop.: 284 (2003 est.). Area: about 100 sq. km (40 sq. miles)