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Beach in obscurity on Pagan Island

The Northern Islands Municipality of the Northern Mariana Islands consists of a group of uninhabited islands, spanning about 400 miles of the North Pacific, to the south of Japan. The closest inhabited island is Saipan to the south.


The islands from south to north are:

  • Farallon de Medinilla — the smallest proper island in the archipelago, that spent most of the 20th century getting blasted to hell by U.S. Navy training exercises
  • Anatahan — the most active of the Mariana volcanoes, Anatahan's lava has scared off humans and even most plants alike
  • Sarigan — while inhabited from 1900 until 1945, Sarigan is now a nature preserve, but is off-limits following a submarine volcanic eruption just to the south
  • Guguan — never supporting a permanent population, this island is home to the rare Micronesian Megapode
  • Alamagan — sporadically inhabited, but it has been vacant since evacuation in 2009 from Typhoon Choi-wan; ruins may be present of the village on the northwest coast
  • Pagan — two volcanoes connected by a strip of land, uninhabited (most likely) since an evacuation forced by a 1981 eruption; has a grass airstrip
  • Agrihan — an enormous, active stratovolcano, sporadically inhabited (in very small numbers) in modern history, but now vacant
  • Asuncion Island
  • Maug Islands — these three islands are actually the highest points of a single submerged volcano's rim, leaving a deep pool in the middle where the crater would be
  • Farallon de Pajaros — an active volcano sits at the heart of the northernmost of the Marianas, to the south of South Iwo Jima, of the Ogasawara Islands (Japan)

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