A coconut crab, native to Diego Garcia, goes exploring.
Sent by Greg from Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory. Thanks to Francis of Oregon for this.
The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia. The territory comprises the six atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands – many tiny – amounting to a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi).
The largest island is Diego Garcia, 44 km2 (17 sq mi), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United States. Following the eviction of the native population (Chagossians) in the 1960s, the only inhabitants are US and British military personnel and associated contractors, who collectively number around 4,000 (2004 figures).
Mauritius sought to resume control over the Chagos Archipelago which was split from its territory by the UK in 1965 to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. Between 1968 and 1973, the Chagossians, then numbering about 2,000 people, were expelled by the British government to Mauritius and Seychelles to allow the United States to establish a military base on the island. Today, the exiled Chagossians are still trying to return, claiming that the forced expulsion and dispossession was illegal. (read further)