Fernando de Noronha - Encyclopedia

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'FERNANDO DE NORONHA' [Fernao de N.], an island in the South Atlantic, 125 m. from the coast of Brazil, to which country it belongs, in 3° 50' S., 32° 25' W. It is about 7 m. long and 12 wide, and some other islets lie adjacent to it. Its surface is rugged, and it contains a number of rocky hills from Soo to 700 ft. high, and one peak towering to the height of 1089 ft. It is formed of basalt, trachyte and phonolite, and the soil is very fertile. The climate is healthy. It is defended by forts, and serves as a place of banishment for criminals from Brazil. The next largest island of the group is about a mile in circumference, and the others are small barren rocks. The population is about 2000, all males, including some 1400 criminals, and a garrison of 150. Communication is maintained by steamer with Pernambuco. The island takes name from its Portuguese discoverer (1503), the count of Noronha.

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