The Largest Coral Atoll

I've received a marketing message from Tahiti Tourisme North America headlined "EXPERIENCE THE LARGEST CORAL ATOLL IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC!!!" The email offers five nights on Rangiroa from Los Angeles at US$1,798.

Well, that may or may not be a good deal but Tahiti Tourisme North America is definitely wrong about one thing: Rangiroa is NOT the "largest coral atoll in the South Pacific." That honor goes to 1,400-square-kilometer Ontong Java in the Solomon Islands which is 380 square kilometers bigger than 1,020-square-kilometer Rangiroa. In the North Pacific, 2,174-square-kilometer Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands holds the record as the largest true atoll in the world.

Tahiti Tourisme North America could have read that on page 1,007 of Moon Handbooks South Pacific.

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