Utirik Atoll

Utirik Atoll or Utrik Atoll (Marshallese: Utrōk, [wudˠ(ɯ)rˠɤk][1]) is a coral atoll of 10 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands. Its total land area is only 2.4 square kilometers (0.94 sq mi), but it encloses a lagoon with an area of 57.7 square kilometers (22.29 sq mi). It is located approximately 47 kilometers (29 mi) east of Ujae Atoll. The population of Utirik Atoll is 300-400 as of 2020.[2] it is one of the northernmost Marshall Islands with permanent habitation.

Utirik Atoll
Native name:
Utirik Atoll - 2014-02-09 - Landsat 8 - 15m.png
NASA image of Utirik Atoll
Utirik Atoll is located in Marshall Islands
Utirik Atoll
Utirik Atoll
LocationNorth Pacific Ocean
Coordinates11°15′14″N 169°48′00″E / 11.25389°N 169.80000°E / 11.25389; 169.80000
Total islands10
Area2.43 km2 (0.94 sq mi)
Highest elevation3 m (10 ft)
Population300-400 (2020)
Ethnic groupsMarshallese

The larger islets are:

  • Utirik (Utrōk[1])
  • Aon (Aon[1])
  • Bikrak (Pekrak[1])
  • Pike (Pike[1])
  • Āllok (Āllok[1])
  • Nalap (Ņa-ļap[1])


Historical artifacts have been unearthed on the Atoll which date back to ca. 380 C.E., including tools likely used by early Micronesian peoples.[3] Its first recorded sighting was by the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Saavedra on board the ship Florida on 29 December 1527.[4] Together with Rongelap, Ailinginae and Toke atolls, they were charted as Islas de los Reyes (Islands of the Three Wise Kings in Spanish) due to the proximity of Epiphany. Utirik 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 Seas Mandate of the Empire of Japan. Following the end of World War II, Utirik came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Utirik was one of four atolls affected by nuclear fallout from Castle Bravo, the largest of the many nuclear weapon tests conducted at Bikini Atoll immediately following World War II. Research is still being done to ascertain the radiation levels, though many scientists agree that there is no harmful effect from the radiation still present. The island has been part of the independent Republic of the Marshall Islands since 1986.


Marshall Islands Public School System operates Utrik Elementary School.[5] Northern Islands High School on Wotje serves the community.[6]

Temperature recordEdit

On 24 August 2016, Utirik Atoll recorded a temperature of 35.6 °C (96.1 °F), which is the highest temperature to have ever been recorded in the Marshall Islands.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Marshallese-English Dictionary - Place Name Index
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2019-02-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Weisler, Marshall (October 2001). "Life on the Edge: Prehistoric Settlement and Economy on Utrōk Atoll, Northern Marshall Islands". Archaeology in Oceania. 36 (3): 109–133. doi:10.1002/j.1834-4453.2001.tb00486.x. JSTOR 40387201. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  4. ^ Brand, Donald D. The Pacific Basin: A History of its Geographical Explorations The American Geographical Society, New York, 1967, p.121.
  5. ^ "Public Schools Archived 2018-02-21 at the Wayback Machine." Marshall Islands Public School System. Retrieved on February 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2011-2012." Ministry of Education (Marshall Islands). Retrieved on February 22, 2018. p. 54 (PDF p. 55/118). "Northern Islands High School takes students from the Ratak Ean zone including schools in Aur, Maloelap, Wotje, Ailuk, Utrik, Likiep and Mejit."
  7. ^ Masters, Jeff; Henson, Bob (18 January 2017). "Confirmed: 2016 the Warmest Year in History of Global Recordkeeping". Wunderground. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.

External linksEdit