Postcard of Christmas Island (one of many with that name), also known as Kiritimati in local Gilbertese language. Measuring 388 square kilometres, Christmas Island has the greatest land area of any coral atoll in the world and makes up over 70% of the total land area of Kiribati. The island was uninhabited at the time of European discovery, although it may have served as a waystation during long sea voyages by Oceanic people in the past.
Interestingly, when Spain sold its North Pacific possessions to Germany in 1899 following its defeat in the Spanish–American War, Christmas Island was not included in the description of the transferred territory. As a result, Spain in theory retained its sovereignty over the island. When the oversight was discovered in the 1940s, the Spanish Government declared that it reserved special rights to the island, although it has never made any attempt to exercise their rights to this odd fluke of history.
Thank you, or ko rab'a as they say in Kiribati, to David of "Postcards A world Travelogue" for all these fantastic cards.
Two stamps from the 2008 definitive series of twelve featuring birds. On the left, the band-rumped storm petrel, Oceanodroma castro, a common sea bird found across the tropical Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. On the right, the Eurasian teal, Anas crecca, a common waterbird found across Europe, North Africa, and Asia, although not in Kiribati! Loving the cancellation stamp.