Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island is the largest of the Line Islands at 222 square miles and has a population of about 10,000. Its chief agricultural product is copra, dried coconut meat yielding coconut oil. The atoll was explored by Capt. James Cook in 1777, annexed by Great Britain in 1888, and included in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1919. British nuclear tests were conducted on the atoll in 1957 and 1958 and U.S. tests in 1962. Because of its size and area, it is believed to be the oldest atoll in the world. There are four villages on the atoll: London, Tabwakea, Banana (Banana Wells), and Poland. Many of the place names are from Father Emmanuel Rougier, a former French priest who leased the island from 1917 to 1939 and planted some 800,000 coconut trees. La colline de Joe (Joe’s Hill) is the highest point on the atoll, less than 40 feet (12 meters). If a traveler were to leave Christmas Island and sail directly west nearly 1,000 miles, they would land on Howland Island, where history’s most famous female aviator, Amelia Earhart, mysteriously disappeared in 1937. In between Howland and Christmas islands is expansive open ocean, perfect for conducting ocean science research, but nowhere to land a plane.