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Pohnpei

From Academic Kids

District center of Pohnpei
District center of Pohnpei
Map of Pohnpei
Map of Pohnpei

Pohnpei (also spelled Ponape and earlier Bonabee) is one of the islands in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and is one of the Senyavin Islands. The FSM's capital Palikir is located on Pohnpei.

The island of Pingelap, located several hundred miles to the east of Pohnpei, but part of Pohnpei State, is notable for the prevalence of the extreme form of color blindness known as maskun. Maskun is relatively rare but often shows up in communities with small gene-pools. Pingelap was featured in the book, The Island of the Colorblind, by neurologist Oliver Sacks.

The island was a Japanese territory in World War II, Japan having acquired Ponape along with the rest of the Carolines, the Marshalls, and the Marianas (less American-owned Guam) as war reparations from Germany. However, the island was one of those bypassed by the US Navy during the amphibious campaigns of 1943-1945. The military facilities were shelled on several occasions, including by the battleships USS Massachusetts (BB-59) and Iowa (BB-61), and by the aircraft of Cowpens (CVL-25).

The island plays a central role in the fictional Cthulhu Mythos as being only a day away from the fictional island of R'lyeh, the place where the fictional character Cthulhu currently resides. Several stories by H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth and others use this island as a setting or contain references to it.

This is based on the Ruins of Nan Madol that were already used as a setting of a lost race story by Abraham Merritt (The Moon Pool), where the island is called Nan-Tauach. Some Occultists see Nan Madol as connected to the lost continent of Lemuria.

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