Home Destinations America Archipelago Fernando de Noronha: the lost world in the Atlantic ocean

Archipelago Fernando de Noronha: the lost world in the Atlantic ocean

Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of volcanic origin in Brazil. It is found about 350 kilometers from the north-eastern coast of the country and consists of 21 islands. There also are some more rocks and small islets.




Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: By Canindé Soares, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: dronepicr/flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Praia do Cachorro
Praia do Cachorro. Photo: By Eduardo Muruci, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Rocks form natural aquariums, so the underwater life here is diverse. Since the reefs of the South Atlantic are isolated from the Caribbean by the outflow of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers, they are very different from other types of reefs.

Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: ESDomingos / pixabay (Pixabay License)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: 一元 马/flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Baía dos Porcos
Baía dos Porcos. Photo: Andrei/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

All islands of the archipelago are uninhabited. People live only on the largest one, which is called Fernando de Noronha as well. It is about 18 square kilometers of area.

Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: Chronus, Wikmedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: By José Alfredo Mendes Neto, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: pexels.com (CC0)

Due to the currents coming from Africa, the water here is clean and transparent. The bottom is visible even at a depth of 50 meters! Besides, it is warm all year round.

Praia do Sancho
Praia do Sancho. Photo: By Daniel Albuquerque da Silva, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Praia do Sancho
Praia do Sancho. Photo: By Marina Feldhues, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Baía dos Porcos and Dois Irmãos
Baía dos Porcos and Dois Irmãos. Photo: By Roberto Noval, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The underwater world of the archipelago is extremely rich. Here you can see large sharks, moray eels, goliaths, sea turtles and dolphins and many other marine inhabitants.

Diving in Praia do Sancho
Diving in Praia do Sancho. Photo: By Caiovitullo, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Diving in Praia do Sancho
Diving in Praia do Sancho. Photo: By Thiago Tiganá, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Diving
Diving. Photo: By PSE Tortuga Carey Eretmochelys imbriocota, via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

One of the largest in the South Atlantic seabird colony also lives here.

Fauna of Archipelago Fernando de Noronha
Fauna of Archipelago. Photo: pxhere.com (CC0 Public Domain)

The archipelago was discovered at the very beginning of the 16th century by the Portuguese expedition, in which Amerigo Vespucci took part. And they named it in honor of one of the sponsors of the expedition — the rich Jew Fernando de Noronha, who lavishly financed scientists, seafarers and explorers.

Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: By Mateus Figueiredo, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Dois Irmãos and Praia do Sancho
Dois Irmãos and Praia do Sancho. Photo: Juniorpetjua, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Buraco da Raquel
Buraco da Raquel. Photo: By Rafa Tecchio, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Many countries claimed to own the archipelago. In the XVII century it was temporarily owned by the Dutch, in the next century by French, until in 1737 Portugal did not establish here its dominance. Portugals built an extensive defense system consisting of 10 forts. The best preserved of them now is Nossa Senhora dos Remedios de Fernando de Noronha.

Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: ESDomingos / pixabay (Pixabay License)
Fort de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Fort de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Photo: By Carlos Scorzato, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Fort de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Fort de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Photo: By Jorge from Brazil (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

During the Second World War here was a base of the US Army. In 1942 Americans built a prison, for political jailed. In the same year the airport was opened.

Airport on island Fernando de Noronha
Airport on island. Photo: By dronepicr (Fernando de Noronha island airport), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

It should be noted that until the XIX century the islands were covered with dense forests, but after the construction of the prison they were uncontrollably cut down. As a result, now most of the territory of the islands is covered with grass and shrubs.

Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: ESDomingos / pixabay (Pixabay License)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: Ajith Kumar/flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: By Marcio Cezario, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha. Photo: By dronepicr (Fernando de Noronha Island east coast – Küste), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Fernando de Noronha is a popular place for tourists from all over the world. It’s a perfect place for surfers and fans of diving. But the ecosystem of the archipelago is very fragile, and the supply of fresh water is limited, so the number of tourists is strictly regulated. Only 450 people can relax here at the same time. Moreover, they should pay a special tax on environmental protection, which depends on the term of accommodation.

Buraco do Galego
Buraco do Galego. Photo: By Roberto Noval, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Dois Irmãos
Dois Irmãos. Photo: By Walter Ferry Dissmann, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Dois Irmãos
Dois Irmãos. Photo: By Ricardo Polisel Alves (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

A large part of the archipelago is the Marine National Park. In 2001 UNESCO designated as a World Heritage Site.

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