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Erikub Atoll (Marshallese: Ādkup, [ær̪ʲ(ɛ͡ɔ)ɡʷu͡ipʲ][1]) is an uninhabited coral atoll of fourteen islands in the Pacific Ocean, located in the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands. Its total land area is only 1.53 square kilometres (0.59 sq mi), but it encloses a lagoon with an area of 230 square kilometres (89 sq mi). It is located slightly south of Wotje.

Erikub Atoll
NASA picture of Erikub Atoll on the left (south) and Wotje on the right (north)
Erikub Atoll is located in Marshall Islands
Erikub Atoll
Erikub Atoll
LocationNorth Pacific
Coordinates09°08′30″N 170°00′00″E / 9.14167°N 170.00000°E / 9.14167; 170.00000
Total islands14
Area1.53 km2 (0.59 sq mi)
Highest elevation3 m (10 ft)
Ethnic groupsMarshallese


The first recorded sighting of Erikub Atoll by Europeans was on 29 June 1566 by the Spanish galleon San Jerónimo then commanded by pilot Lope Martín. However, it is likely that it had already been previously sighted by the Spanish expedition of Ruy López de Villalobos between December 1542 and January 1543. Lope Martín, who had been pilot of the patache San Lucas on its voyage from New Spain to the Philippines the previous year, had on this occasion mutinied with a gang of twenty six sailors and soldiers and murdered the San Jerónimo's captain, Pero Sánchez Pericón. The conspirators, including Martín, were later marooned on the Namonuito Atoll.[2][3]

Erikub Atoll was claimed by the Empire of Germany along with the rest of the Marshall Islands in 1884. After World War I, the island came under the South Pacific Mandate of the Empire of Japan. Following the end of World War II, Erikub came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The island has been part of the independent Republic of the Marshall Islands since 1986.


Loj island, within the atoll, is a nesting site of the green turtle.[4][5]


  1. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary - Place Name Index
  2. ^ Coello, Francisco La Conferencia de Berlín y la cuestón de las Carolinas: Discursos pronunciados en la Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid, Madrid, Imprenta de Fortanet, 1885, p. 291.
  3. ^ Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands Oxford, 1960, pp. 28, 42.
  4. ^ Parker, Denise N.; Balazs, George H.; Frutchey, Karen; Ua, Emma Kab; Boktas, Ketty. "Conservation considerations revealed by the movements of post-nesting green turtles from the Republic of the Marshall Islands" (PDF). Micronesica (2015–03): 1–9. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Map of Republic of the Marshall Islands – major atolls". Retrieved 27 January 2017.

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