Palau is an island chain nation in the western Pacific Ocean, it is one of the world’s youngest and smallest sovereign states. The chain is composed of ,eight main islands which are permanently inhabited plus more than 250 volcanic and coral islands, many of them surrounded by a single barrier reef. They vary geologically from the high, mountainous, largest island, Babelthuap, to low coral islands, usually fringed by large barrier reefs.
There is concern that the low-lying islands could be badly affected by rising sea levels and climate change.
The original settlers of Palau are believed to have arrived from Indonesia as early as 2500 BC. Palau’s recent history has been dominated by outside influences from Spain, Britain, Germany, Japan and the US. Palau was initially settled over 3,000 years ago, and perhaps 4,500 years ago,by migrants from the Philippines. was explored by the Spanish navigator Ruy López de Villalobos in 1543.
British traders became prominent visitors in the 18th century, followed by expanding Spanish influence in the 19th century. the islands remained under nominal Spanish ownership for more than 300 years before Spain sold Palau and most of the rest of the Caroline Islands to Germany in 1899. Japan occupied Palau during World War I and received a mandate over them from the League of Nations in 1920. They remained in Japanese control and served as an important naval base until the islands were taken by the United States in 1944 during World War II, with the costly Battle of Peleliu between September 15 and November 25 with more than 2,000 Americans and 10,000 Japanese killed. After the war, the islands became a UN trusteeship (1947), administered by the U.S. In 1994 Palau became independent. Palau is the world’s most awesome natural wonders,and among the world’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling destinations. It features unspoiled coral reefs, blue holes, wartime wrecks, hidden caves and tunnels, more than 60 vertical drop-offs to play with, amazing array of marine life, of astonishing spectrum of coral, fish, and rare sea creatures.