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About Marshall Islands
The Marshall Islands are a group of islands in the west-central Pacific; located about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. The Republic of the Marshall Islands (the contry's formal name) offers natural beauty and a rich culture. Pristine coral reefs teeming with marine life make the 'Marshalls' a premiere dive destination.
The Marshall Islands form two vast parallel chains of atolls scattered over 750,000 square miles of the tranquil Pacific Ocean. The chains are called the Ratak (sunrise chain) and Ralik (sunset chain). Together, they encompass 29 atolls and 5 individual islands totaling abut 1,225 islands and 870 reef systems.
Among other attractions, the islands offer breathtaking marine environments, with over 800 species of fish and 160 species of coral, ample diving and snorkeling opportunities, serene outer islands, abundant big game, bottom, and fly fishing conditions, and a multitude of World War II wrecks and sites unparalleled anywhere in the Pacific.
Most people live on the island of Majuro (the nation's capital) in the Ratak chain. Perhaps, the most important atoll of the Ralik chain is the Kwajalein atoll . But probably the most famous island of the whole group is the Bikini atoll - a major US nuclear testing site, now mostly inhabited.