Christmas Island and Manchester Museum

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Christmas 3Specimen of Arenga listeri, endemic to Christmas Island. Herbarium collection, Manchester Museum

Christmas Island – A Festive Story…

Christmas Island sits in the Indian Ocean just off the Indonesian coast, and is mostly famous for the island’s millions of Red Crabs, not red noses or red breasted robins… so why does it have possibly the most festive name you could imagine?

ht_road_crabs_lpl_131129_wblogChristmas Island red crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) make an annual migration to the coast of the Indian Ocean for breeding. (Source)

The story begins in 1643, Captain William Mynors is aboard the Royal Mary, an East India Shipping company vessel, on a journey to trade for exotic cargo such as indigo dye, silks and teas never before seen in England. During this particular voyage he sees a curious island in the distance, assuming it to be undocumented and uninhabited already, he names it after the day…

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