Bassas da India
|Bassas da India
|Motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"|
|Anthem: La Marseillaise|
Bassas da India is an uninhabited, roughly circular atoll that is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Located in the southern Mozambique Channel, about halfway between Mozambique and Madagascar (about Template:Convert further east) and around Template:Convert northwest of Europa Island, the rim of the atoll averages around 100 m in width and encloses a shallow lagoon of depth no greater than 15 m. Overall, the atoll is about Template:Convert in diameter, rising steeply from the seabed 3000 m below to encircle an area (including lagoon) of Template:Convert. Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Template:Convert in size, is contiguous with that of Europa Island.
The atoll consists of ten barren rocky islets, with no vegetation, totalling 0.2 km² (.077 sq mi) in area. Those on the north and east sides are 2.1 to 3 m high, while those on the west and south sides are 1.2 m high. The reef, whose coastline measures Template:Convert, is completely covered by the sea from three hours before high tide to three hours afterward. The region is also subject to cyclones, making the atoll a long-time maritime hazard and the site of numerous shipwrecks.
The Bassas da India was first recorded by Portuguese explorers in the early sixteenth century as the "Baixo da Judia" ("Jewess Shoals"). The Judia ("Jewess", for the ancestry of its owner Fernão de Loronha) was the Portuguese ship that discovered the feature by running aground on it in 1506. The name became "Bassas da India" due to transcription errors by cartographers. The Santiago broke up on the shoal in 1585.
- Bernardo Gomes de Brito. Historia Tragico-Maritima. Em que se escrevem chronologicamente os Naufragios que tiverão as Naos de Portugal, depois que se poz em exercicio a Navegação da India. Lisboa 1735
- Natal Museum. Natal Museum journal of humanities, Vol. 12. The Museum Council (Pietermaritzburg), 2000.
- "...Europa [R]ocks, was Template:Sic discovered by the ship Europa in 1774." In Africa pilot, Part 3 Hydrographic Office of Great Britain.
- Historical Sketch of Salem, 1626-1879.
- Oceandots at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2010)
- Sailing Directions: East Africa and the South Indian Ocean
- Template:CIA World Factbook link.