interesting facts about Christmas Island

23 Cracking Facts about Christmas Island

Looking to boost your knowledge of the world? Take a look at these 23 fun facts about Christmas Island!

Geographical stats…

  1. Christmas Island is a small Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.
  2. Its nearest neighbors are Indonesia to the north and east, Australia to the south and Cocos (Keeling) Islands to the west.
  3. To witness the majestic sights and social intricacies of this wonderful country, head for the coordinates of 10.4833° S, 105.6333° E for your very own Christmas Island adventure!
  4. The terrain here consists of steep cliffs along the coastline, rising sharply to a central plateau.
  5. The total land area of Christmas Island is 52 square miles (135 square kilometres)…
Flag of Christmas Island

Flag of Christmas Island

  1. …that’s slightly larger than Bristol.
  2. Christmas Island’s population was 1,530 in 2014…
  3. …that’s less than 1/275th of the population of Bristol.
  4. Residents here are known as Christmas Islanders!
  5. The capital is Flying Fish Cove; it had a population of 500 in 2013.
  1. Christmas Islanders enjoy a tropical climate with a dry season from May to November, followed by a rainy season from December to April. The heat and humidity here is moderated by trade winds.
  2. Amazingly, around 2/3 of the island is a national park!
  3. Christmas Island was formed around 60 million years ago when a basalt volcanic seamount (an underwater mountain) rose 5,000 metres from the ocean floor!
  4. There are an estimated 45 million (yes, million) red crabs living on this tiny island! They migrate each year from the centre of the island to the beaches to breed and can be seen travelling in droves!
  5. Christmas Island is also home to several other species of crab including the largest species in the world, the coconut crab, which can weigh up to 4.1kg and measure an incredible 1m long!
Ethel Beach, Christmas Island, crawling with red crabs

Ethel Beach, Christmas Island

Social intricacies

  1. The official language of Christmas Island is English.
  2. Did you know that Christmas Island was actually named after its discovery on Christmas day in 1643?
  3. Despite being discovered in 1643, the island wasn’t inhabited until 244 years later!
  4. Australian Dollar is the official currency here.
  5. You must not touch a stranger’s head in Christmas Island, as it is considered extremely intimate… Ooh err!

Industry insights…

  1. Christmas Island doesn’t currently grow anything on a commercial scale, although they are working towards growing fruit and vegetables as a future goal.
  2. Its industry consists of tourism and phosphate extraction.
  3. Christmas Island’s main export is phosphate.

FAQs about Christmas Island

What is Christmas Island famous for?

Christmas Island is most famous for its estimated 45 million red crabs that live on this tiny island!

Why is it called Christmas Island?

The island was named Christmas Island because the British East India company ship arrived here on the 25th December 1643 - Christmas Day.

Which ocean is Christmas Island in?

If you're thinking of sailing to Christmas Island, you'll need to set course for the Indian Ocean. It's an overseas territory of Australia located between Java and north-west Australia

Do you know any fun facts about Christmas Island? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on October 20, 2021. Suggest an edit

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