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Indian Ocean Territories

Islands in the Indian Ocean experience tropical marine conditions, including hot and humid weather, which is sometimes relieved by trade winds, and small amounts of rain. One exception, though, are the Heard and McDonald Islands, which have Antarctic conditions. The region occasionally experiences tropical storms throughout the year, and the area is known for its monsoons. There are a variety of natural resources on these islands, including excellent fishing, phosphate deposits, and coconuts. Heard & McDonald Islands are primarily used for scientific research, including an experiment to monitor global warming. The British Indian Ocean Territory's coral atolls are used for a U.S./UK military base.

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Uninhabited territories of Australia

At a Glance

Official Name: Ashmore and Cartier Islands

Area: 2 sq. mi. (5 sq. km)

British Indian Ocean Territory

Uninhabited territory of U.K.

At a Glance

Official Name: British Indian Ocean Territory

Area: 23 sq. mi. (60 sq. km)

Christmas Island

At a Glance

Official Name: Territory of Christmas Island

Area: 52 sq. mi. (135 sq. km)

Population: 2,564

Unit of Money: Australian dollar

Major Languages: English

Government: territory of Australia

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Cocos (Keeling) Islands

At a Glance

Official Name: Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Area: 5.4 sq. mi. (14 sq. km)

Population: 635

Unit of Money: Australian dollar

Major Languages: English, Malay

Government: territory of Australia

Heard and McDonald Islands

Uninhabited territories of Australia

At a Glance

Official Name: Heard and McDonald Islands

Area: 159 sq. mi. (412 sq. km)

Mayotte

At a Glance

Official Name: Territorial Collectivity of Mayotte

Area: 145 sq. mi. (375 sq. km)

Population: 163,366

Unit of Money: French franc

Major Languages: Mahoran, French

Government: territorial collectivity of France

Réunion

At a Glance

Official Name: Department of Réunion

Area: 965 sq. mi. (2,500 sq. km)

Population: 732,570

Unit of Money: French franc

Major Languages: French (official), Creole

Government: overseas department of France

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Indian Ocean Territories

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