Known as the world’s least-visited island, Nauru is a tiny island located in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful country overlooking the vast ocean space with a small GDP and a population of relatively large people (quite literally!). Here are some interesting facts about the country!
1. Nauru is the smallest island country and the third smallest country (after Vatican City and Monaco) in the world.
2. It was once the wealthiest nation in the world with the highest GDP during the early 1980s – thanks to its phosphate reserves, but by 2017 it was ranked among the poorest nations. The mines were first discovered in 1900 and were not exploited until 6 years later. Mining continued for several decades until 80% of the country became a barren wasteland. With the loss of the country’s top source of revenue, the once-rich Nauru has become one of the poorest nations in the world. It has the second-lowest GDP in the world at $115 million – only taking over Tuvalu whose GDP is $43 million.
3. Due to no resemblance of the language of Nauruan’s, their exact origin is not confirmed.
4. Nauru holds the distinction of being the fattest nation in the world. Nauru’s average citizen has a BMI of between 34 and 35. The normal global average is between 18.5 and 24.9. More than 70% of the residents are obese.
5. This tiny country does not have any armed forces. They depend on Australia for defence, should they need it. Although this is the case, the country has an armed police force to ensure the safety of its citizens.
6. Nauru is the least-visited country in the world, with only 200 tourists visiting the country in 2011.
7. Nauru became a tax haven in the 1990s and offered passports for foreigners for a fee. Anyone could set up a licensed bank account in the country for only $25,000, with no other requirements during the 1990s. The country’s loose banking laws made it possible for foreigners to set up shell accounts in Nauru, thus making it possible for people to launder money. The Russian mafia managed to launder over $70 billion through Nauru. The FAFT (Financial Action Task Force) listed Nauru among the fifteen uncooperative states in terms of money laundering. Nauru finally introduced anti-avoidance regulation in 2003, which caused the foreign funds to leave the country. The non-cooperative label was lifted in October 2005.
How to reach?
The sole airport of the island is the Nauru International Airport and the national airline carrier is Nauru Airlines. There are no flights to Nauru from India. The most convenient option is to take a flight from India to Brisbane or Majuro. From there, you can take a direct flight to Nauru.
Anibare Bay: Anibare Bay is located in Anibare which is one of the districts of Nauru and has one of the best beaches. As the largest bay in the district, this place draws tourists with its unusual physical features and its 2 km long beach. Shaped by underwater volcanic activity, the protected bay is extremely safe for swimming Many come at sunrise for magnificent views as well.
Explore the World War 2 Remains: Nauru was occupied by the Japanese forces during WWII and the locals went sent to Chuuk to help in the war. Because the centre of Nauru still has some unexplored areas, you can find the remnants of the Japanese guns and a prison for the prisoners of war which are quite intriguing.