Nukulaelae Atoll

Overview

Introduction

Easternmost of the Tuvalu islands, Nukulaelae was the first island to accept Christianity. That conversion happened after a lost Cook Island canoeist washed ashore in 1861. A few years later, less-scrupulous visitors kidnapped many of the islanders by pretending to invite them aboard their vessels for religious services. They then carried them off to work in Peruvian mines. Only two men who jumped overboard managed to escape. Today, with rising sea levels, Nukulaelae is threatened by saltwater seeping into its taro swamps. 65 mi/105 km northwest of Funafuti.

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