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Archive for micronesia

The Island of Stone Money

By Linda Tancs

You’ve heard the expression about money burning a hole in your pocket. Well, the centuries-old currency on the Micronesian island of Yap would do a lot worse than that. It does, after all, weigh more than a car. That currency comprised colossal stone discs made of limestone. Needless to say, it never changed hands (in a literal sense), or even villages. Nonetheless, the villagers knew who owned what. Of course, nowadays modern currency (the U.S. dollar) prevails, but you’ll still find some trading the old-fashioned way.

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A Pristine Paradise in Micronesia

By Linda Tancs

Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Palau is a pristine paradise, and the locals intend to keep it that way by implementing the Palau Pledge. It’s the world’s first conservation pledge that is stamped in passports; visitors sign a declaration to protect the local environment and culture for the next generation. That environment includes native forests and mangroves that are the most species-diverse in Micronesia with 1,400 species of plants and an estimated 194 endemic plant species, including 23 endemic species of orchids. You’ll also find phenomena like the Rock Islands (collections of largely uninhabited, mushroom-shaped islets housing one of the world’s greatest concentrations of coral and marine life) and Jellyfish Lake, where two types of resident jellyfish have completely lost their sting because they have not had to fight off predators.

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