Online Encyclopedia

CHAGOS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 800 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHAGOS, a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, belonging to Britain, disposed in circular form round the Chagos bank, in 40 44' to 70 39' S., and 700 55' to 72° 52' E. The atolls on the south and east side of the bank, which has a circumference of about 270 m., have disappeared through subsidence; a few—Egmont, Danger, Eagle, and Three Brothers—still remain on the east side, but most of the population (about 700) is centred on Diego Garcia, which lies on the south-east side, and is nearly r3 m. long by 6 m. wide. The lagoon, which is enclosed by two coral barriers and accessible to the largest vessels on the north side, forms one of the finest natural harbours in the world. The group, which has a total land area of 76 sq. m., is dependent for administrative purposes on Mauritius, and is regularly visited by vessels from that colony. The only product is cocoa-nut oil, of which about so6,000 gallons are annually exported. The French occupied the islands in 1791 from Mauritius, and the oil industry (from which the group is sometimes called the Oil Islands) came into the hands of French Creoles.
End of Article: CHAGOS
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