Atoll Facts

With its amazing wildlife, Palmyra is a place where nature still rules. Get the facts. 

The northernmost atoll of the Line Islands chain in the Pacific Ocean, 1,052 miles south/southwest of Hawaii (5 degrees, 52 minutes north, 162 degrees, 6 minutes west).  

Palmyra Atoll is the second largest of 10 atolls under U.S. jurisdiction.  680 emergent (above water) acres, 15,512 acres of submerged reefs and aquamarine lagoons.

Humid equatorial tropics; light, variable winds with an average of 175 inches of rain a year.

Palmyra has attracted its share of visitors - from Polynesians to modern maritime explorers - but no one has ever settled here.  Palmyra has the only uninhabited islands in the Line Islands Archipelago.  Palmyra Atoll is also the only undeveloped and unpopulated "wet" atoll left in the tropical Pacific.

Excellent site for the study of coral reefs, marine systems and global climate change. Core samples taken from living and dead coral heads has produced 1,100 years of temperature information.


  • Supports five times as many coral species as the Florida Keys and three times as any as Hawaii and the Caribbean, ranking it as one of the most diverse and spectacular coral reef systems in the world.
  • Habitat to the world's largest land invertebrate, the rare coconut crab.
  • One of the largest remaining undisturbed stands of Pisonia beach forest in the world.
  • One of the largest red-footed booby populations in the world, second only to the Galapagos Islands.