Posted on June 18, 2016
As I mentioned in an earlier post, June 5 and June 29 are both important holidays for Seychelles—but today is, too! On this date in 1993, a multi-party democratic constitution was adopted by the island nation.
Located in the Indian Ocean, this 115-island country is considered to be part of Africa. It has the smallest population of any independent African nation. But that seems about right, since it is also the smallest country in Africa in total land area. Actually, it's only a little bit larger in area than the U.S. Capital, Washington, D.C. – which is a city, not a nation! Still, there are quite a few smaller nations in the world.
Some of the Seychelles islands are granite-based.
You may wonder what the difference is between coral, coral sand, and raised coral islands.
Here is a crash course in island building:
A coral island starts as a coral reef. But rocks and sand can be piled on top of the reef during a storm, and then seeds can sprout in the layers of accumulated material.
Coral sand islands are formed by sand made by coral being broken up into tiny pieces by pounding surf. This sand can sit on the surface of a coral reef and form a small, low-elevation island. Small sandy islands are often called cays (also, cayes or keys).
|This is coral sand magnified!|
And a raised coral island is an atoll (a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a central lagoon) that was uplifted above sea level. What causes the uplift? The same tectonic forces that create mountains and cause earthquakes. Just like other coral islands, rocks and soil and sand can be deposited on these uplifted reefs, and then plants colonize and change the island.
- One of the largest atolls in the world is Aldabra Atoll – and it is a raised coral atoll.
- There is a short video about conservation of Seychelles's coral reefs on the Encyclopedia Britannica website.
Also on this date:
World Juggling Day
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