Hawaiian Islands facts for kids
Mokupuni o Hawai‘i
The Windward Islands of Hawaii
|Location||North Pacific Ocean|
|Unincorporated territory||Midway Atoll|
The Hawaiian Islands (Hawaiian: Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, and numerous smaller islets in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Ocean Island. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name that James Cook chose in honor of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, the then First Lord of the Admiralty. Cook came across the islands by chance when crossing the Pacific Ocean on his Third Voyage, on board HMS Resolution; he was later killed on the islands on a return visit. The contemporary name of the islands, dating from the 1840s, is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaiʻi Island.
Hawaii sits on the Pacific Plate and is the only U.S. state that is not geographically connected to North America. It is part of the Polynesia subregion of Oceania. The state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety (including the mostly uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands), with the sole exception of Midway Island, which also belongs to the United States, albeit as one of its unincorporated territories within the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth's mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.
Images for kids
3-D perspective view of the southeastern Hawaiian Islands, with the white summits of Mauna Loa (4,170 m or 13,680 ft high) and Mauna Kea (4,207.3 m or 13,803 ft high). The islands are the tops of massive volcanoes, the bulk of which lie below the sea surface. Ocean depths are colored from violet (5,750 m or 18,860 ft deep northeast of Maui) and indigo to light gray (shallowest). Historical lava flows are shown in red, erupting from the summits and rift zones of Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Hualalai volcanoes on Hawaiʻi.
Eruptions from the Hawaii hotspot left a trail of underwater mountains across the Pacific over millions of years, called the Emperor Seamounts.
In Spanish: Archipiélago de Hawái para niños
Hawaiian Islands Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.