Juan Fernández Islands


Juan Fernández Islands
Juan Fernández Islands [hwän΄ fer nan′dez]
group of three islands in the South Pacific, c. 400 mi (644 km) west of, & belonging to, Chile: c. 69 sq mi (179 sq km)

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Island group, South Pacific Ocean.

Located 400 mi (650 km) west of Chile, it consists of two islands and an islet. They were discovered in 1563 by Spanish navigator Juan Fernández. In 1704 Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish seaman, was stranded there alone until 1709; his adventures are believed to have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Possessions of Chile since the early 19th century, they have often been used as penal settlements.

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▪ islands, Chile
Spanish  Islas Juan Fernández 

      small cluster of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, situated about 400 miles (650 km) west of and administratively part of Chile. They consist of the 36-square-mile (93-square-km) Isla Más a Tierra (Nearer Land Island, also called Isla Robinson Crusoe); the 33-square-mile Isla Más Afuera (Farther Out Island, also called Isla Alejandro Selkirk), 100 miles to the west; and an islet, Isla Santa Clara, southwest of Isla Más a Tierra. The islands are volcanic peaks rising from the Juan Fernández submarine ridge. Más a Tierra has a summit 3,002 ft (915 m) above sea level, and Más Afuera rises to 5,415 ft. Bahía Cumberland (Cumberland Bay), on the northern side of Más a Tierra, and Bahía Padre, at the western extremity, are the only fair anchorages.

      The islands were discovered about 1563 by Juan Fernández (Fernández, Juan), a Spanish navigator, who received a grant and lived there for some years, stocking them with goats and pigs. After his departure, the islands were visited only occasionally. In 1704, however, Alexander Selkirk (Selkirk, Alexander) (q.v.), a Scottish seaman, quarreled with his captain and was put ashore at Bahía Cumberland. He remained there alone until 1709 and his adventures are commonly believed to have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. The islands passed into Chilean possession in the early 19th century. Since then, they have been used as penal settlements on many occasions, particularly for political prisoners. Isla Santa Clara is now uninhabited. Más a Tierra and Más Afuera are sparsely populated, most of their inhabitants being concentrated in the village of Robinson Crusoe on Bahía Cumberland. Their principal occupation is fishing for lobsters. Pop. (2002) 598.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Juan Fernández Islands — [hwän΄ fer nan′dez] group of three islands in the South Pacific, c. 400 mi (644 km) west of, & belonging to, Chile: c. 69 sq mi (179 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Juan Fernández Islands — Infobox Country native name = Islas de Juan Fernández conventional long name = Juan Fernández Islands common name = Juan Fernández Islands symbol type = national motto = national anthem = other symbol type = other symbol = map caption = Map of… …   Wikipedia

  • Juan Fernandez Islands — …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Santa Clara (Juan Fernández Islands) — Santa Clara is the smallest of the mainland islands in the Juan Fernández Islands. It is located 1.5 km from the south coast of Robinson Crusoe Island. The island is 375 metres high and the terrain is dry. The majority of the original vegetation… …   Wikipedia

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  • Juan Fernández — (c. 1536 ndash; c. 1604) was a Spanish explorer and navigator. Probably between 1563 and 1574 he discovered the Juan Fernández Islands west of Valparaíso, Chile. He also discovered the Pacific islands of San Félix and San Ambrosio (1574).Some… …   Wikipedia

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