bikini atoll. the crater can be seen on the northwest cape of the atoll, adjacent to namu island, that was formed by the 15 mt castle bravo
nuclear test, with the smaller 11 mt castle romeo
crater adjoining it.
map of the marshall islands showing bikini
map of bikini atoll
bikini atoll (pacific ocean)
|coordinates: 11°35′n 165°23′e / 11°35′n 165°23′e / 11.583; 165.383|
|country||republic of the marshall islands|
| • land||6 km2 (2.3 sq mi)|
| • total||5 caretakers|
| ||population relocated in 1948|
unesco world heritage site
|official name||bikini atoll nuclear test site|
|inscription||2010 (34th session)|
location of bikini atoll in the pacific ocean
bikini atoll (/ or /; marshallese: 'pikinni', [pʲiɡinnʲi], meaning "coconut place"), sometimes known as eschscholtz atoll between the 1800s and 1946 (see etymology section below for history and orthography of the endonym), is a coral reef in the marshall islands consisting of 23 islands surrounding a 229.4-square-mile (594.1 km2) central lagoon. the atoll's inhabitants were relocated in 1946, after which the islands and lagoon were the site of 23 nuclear tests by the united states until 1958.
the atoll is at the northern end of the ralik chain, approximately 850 kilometres (530 mi) northwest of the capital majuro. three families were resettled on bikini island in 1970, totaling about 100 residents. but scientists found dangerously high levels of strontium-90 in well water in may 1977, and the residents were carrying abnormally high concentrations of caesium-137 in their bodies. they were evacuated in 1980. the atoll is occasionally visited today by divers and a few scientists, and is occupied by a handful of caretakers.