GALLERY: Fernando de Noronha, Brazil!

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Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, 354 km (220 mi) offshore from the Brazilian coast.

The archipelago’s name is a corruption of the name of the Portuguese merchant Fernão de Loronha, to whom it was given by the Portuguese crown for services rendered regarding wood imported from Brazil.

Only the homonyms main island is inhabited; it has an area of 18.4 km2 (7.1 sq mi) and a population estimated at 2,718 in 2012. The archipelago’s total area is 26 km2 (10 sq mi).

Administratively, the islands are a unique case in Brazil of a special “state district”  that is not part of any municipality and is administered directly by the government of the state of Pernambuco (despite being closer to the state of Rio Grande do Norte).

The state district’s jurisdiction also includes the very remote Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, located 625 kilometres (388 mi) northeast of Fernando de Noronha. 70% of the islands’ area were established in 1988 as a national maritime park.