Motu One (Society Islands)

Motu One, also known as Bellinghausen, is an atoll in the Leeward group of the Society Islands. Motu One is located 550 km northwest from Tahiti and 72 km northeast of Manuae, its closest neighbor.

Motu One
Native name:
Motu One
NASA picture of Motu One Atoll
Karta FP Societe isl.PNG
Location15°48′50″S 154°31′30″W / 15.81389°S 154.52500°W / -15.81389; -154.52500Coordinates: 15°48′50″S 154°31′30″W / 15.81389°S 154.52500°W / -15.81389; -154.52500
ArchipelagoSociety Islands
Area2.829 km2 (1.092 sq mi)
Overseas collectivityFrench Polynesia

Motu One's reef encloses totally a lagoon without a pass. All of its sides are covered with low, wooded sandy islands except for its southern side. Motu One means Sand Island in Tahitian, that is a low-lying, sandy islet that cannot sustain permanent human habitation.


The name Atoll Bellinghausen or more rarely Bellingshausen was given to this small atoll by the a Russian officer and navigator of Baltic German descent in the Imperial Russian Navy Otto von Kotzebue in honour of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. It should not be confused with Bellingshausen Island, part of the South Sandwich Islands, in the southwest Atlantic.

The atoll was visited by the US Exploring Expedition in Sept. 1839.[1]


Motu One Atoll is administratively part of the commune (municipality) of Maupiti, itself in the administrative subdivision of the Leeward Islands.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Stanton, William (1975). The Great United States Exploring Expedition. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 132. ISBN 0520025571.

External linksEdit