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Hawaii is a group of islands located in the centre of the Pacific Ocean that became the 50th state of the United States of America in 1959. The 130 islands are of volcanic origin. Only seven of the eight major islands are inhibated :Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Hawaii's Big Island…

GEOGRAPHY Hawaii is the most remote island chain in the world, over 2,000 miles from the nearest landfall. Distance makes for splendid isolation - these Polynesian islands are removed from all else but one another.

Hawaii consists of eight major islands plus 124 minor islands, reefs and shoals, strung like a necklace across the Pacific for over 1,500 miles. The eight major islands (which make up over 99% of the total land area) are Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (known as Big Island), Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe (uninhabited) and Niihau (privately owned).

Each of the major islands has an identity all its own. Oahu is as different from Molokai and Maui as Kauai is from Lanai and the Big Island - each as varied and colorful as the official state flower, the hibiscus. With their collective mass of 4.1 million acres or 6,450 square miles, these islands form the fourth smallest state in the United States.

GEOLOGY Hawaii's story is the story of creation - islands born from the Pacific depths some 40 million years ago. Hawaii has been shaped by the capricious forces of fire, magma, rains, and winds - and now, most recently, by man.

About 30 miles southwest of the active volcano Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii, the newest island in the chain, Loihi, is forming - the newest land on earth. Stretching toward the northwest from Loihi are the other major Hawaiian Islands: Big Island, and then Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau.

BIOLOGY The Hawaiian Islands have a wide variety of plant, marine and animal life. Vegetation zones include: coastal, dryland forest, mixed open forest, rain forest, subalpine and alpine. More than 90 percent of the native plants and animals living in Hawaii are found nowhere else in the world, and a greater variety of fish exist in Hawaiian waters than elsewhere. The humuhumunukunukuapuaa is the unofficial state fish.
Hawaii is sometimes called the Endangered Species Capital of the World. At least one third of all the endangered species in the United States are found in Hawaii including the Nene Goose (official state bird), the Humpback Whale (official state marine mammal), the Pacific Green Sea Turtle and the Pueo (Hawaiian owl). The exotic species, man, poses a greater threat than nature to Hawaii's native flora and fauna.

CLIMATE The Hawaiian Islands have only two seasons: "summer" between May and October and "winter" between...