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Hawaii, USA

The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of the end of a long undersea mountain range known as the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain.

Standing at 4,205 metres above sea level, Mauna Kea is Hawaii’s largest volcano; however, if measured from its base on the sea floor, it is taller than Mount Everest.

The Hawaiian Archipelago is the most isolated group of islands in the world and contains more endemic species than the Galapagos Islands.

The nēnē, or Hawaiian goose, is endemic to Hawaii and is honoured as the Hawaii State Bird; it is the rarest goose in the world.

The Hawaiian Islands are thought to have been settled as long as 1,600 years ago by Polynesian people who sailed 3,800 kilometres from the Marquesas Islands.

Surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture in Hawaii, using specially constructed surfboards made of restructured canoes or wooden planks.

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Flying at 13,000m - The world's most active volcanoes

 

Flying at 4,000m - A delicate and isolated ecosystem

 

Flying at sea level - Origins of Hawaii's surf culture

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© 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)