Amsterdam: island in the Indian Ocean

Amsterdam is not only the name of our capital, but also an island that lies in the southern Indian Ocean. The island is 55 km² in size and belongs to the so-called French Southern and Antarctic Territories, of which it forms one of the districts.


Amsterdam - also known as New Amsterdam - is seen as one of the most remote places on our planet. It is particularly far from the mainland today. However, it is an important breeding ground for ocean birds. There are also many sea elephants and an albatross species can be found that only occurs here. Amsterdam is also one of the few islands in the southern Indian Ocean where trees grow.

Juan Sebastián de Elcano

The island of Amsterdam was discovered on March 18, 1522 by Juan Sebastián de Elcano, who was then on board the ship 'the Victoria'. He mentioned the island of St. Paul. But no matter how often he tried, he was unable to moor on the island.
The first Dutchman was visited by St. Paul was Haevick Claeszoon, in 1618. In the same year, Amsterdam was also seen by the Dutch for the first time. The island was described by Klaas Hermansz, who saw it in 1623. On 17 June 1633, Anthonie van Diemen sailed between Sint-Paul and a nearby island - with the slightly different name Saint-Paul. He gave Sint-Paul the name of his ship: Nieuw Amsterdam.

Pointe Fleming

In 1696 Willem de Vlamingh visited both islands, New Amsterdam and Saint-Paul, and examined them more closely. The Pointe Fleming, located on the south coast of the island, is named after him.

Lightning strike

Based on the descriptions that these people gave to the island, the island was densely forested at the time, even with trees that only appeared on this island. Probably after a lightning strike almost the entire forest burned down. Only a few remained in the crater that remained.

Video: Its Illegal to Visit This Island in the Indian Ocean, and Heres Why (April 2020).

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