Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Wonderer. Wonderer Wonders, “Where in the world is Vanuatu?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonderer!
Do you dream of adventures? Would you love to travel the world? Where in the world would you wander if you could? Some people might head to the fjords of Norway. Others may climb the world’s tallest mountain. For some, walking the Great Wall of China would be the journey of a lifetime.
Many people chase adventure. Others simply want to relax on the beach. There’s nothing quite like soaking up the Sun’s rays with your toes in the sand. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach can wash all your stress away.
The Republic of Vanuatu rests in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s just east of Australia and west of Fiji. This country is made up of more than 80 tropical islands. Nearly 280,000 people call it home.
The first settlers on the islands were the Melanesian people. They arrived around 550 B.C.E. Later, in 1774, British explorer James Cook mapped the islands. He called them the New Hebrides.
Britain and France built colonies on the islands during the 19th century. For most of the 20th century, the land was mostly controlled by the two nations. Vanuatu finally gained its independence in 1980.
The islands that make up Vanuatu are mountainous. They’re mostly covered with tropical rainforests. Many of the main islands were formed by volcanic activity. Aside from its tropical beaches, these active volcanoes are some of the biggest attractions in Vanuatu. Mount Yasur on Tanna Island is one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes. Many tourists love to visit it, especially at night.
Do you ever send postcards to friends and family members? It can be exciting to receive mail from a place far away. And a postcard from Vanuatu can be even more unique. Why? Because it’s home to the world’s only underwater post office! This special post office is located on the Vanuatu island of Mele. It’s inside the Hideaway Island marine sanctuary. You’ll have to snorkel or scuba dive to post your waterproof postcard from paradise.
Would you like to explore the underwater post office in Vanuatu? Maybe you’d rather visit active volcanoes or lie on a beautiful beach. This beautiful string of islands seems to have something for everyone.
Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1