Bikini Atoll (// or //; Marshallese: Pikinni, [pʲiɡinnʲi], meaning "coconut place"), sometimes known as Eschscholtz Atoll between the 1800s and 1946 is a coral reef in the Marshall Islands consisting of 23 islands surrounding a 229.4-square-mile (594.1 km2) central lagoon. After the Second World War, the atoll's inhabitants were forcibly relocated in 1946, after which the islands and lagoon were the site of 23 nuclear tests by the United States until 1958.
Pikinni Atoll, Eschscholtz Atoll
Men otemjej rej ilo bein anij
|Anthem: Ij Jab Ber Emol|
|Country||Republic of the Marshall Islands|
|• Land||6 km2 (2.3 sq mi)|
|• Total||5 caretakers|
|Population relocated in 1948|
Resettled population evacuated in 1980
|Official name||Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site|
|Criteria||Cultural: iv; vi|
|Inscription||2010 (34th Session)|
The atoll is at the northern end of the Ralik Chain, approximately 530 miles (850 km) northwest of the capital Majuro. Three families were resettled on Bikini island in 1970, totaling about 100 residents, but scientists found dangerously high levels of strontium-90 in well water in May 1977, and the residents were carrying abnormally high concentrations of caesium-137 in their bodies. They were evacuated again in 1980. The atoll is occasionally visited today by divers and a few scientists, and is occupied by a handful of caretakers.