National Geographic : 1976 Sep
YJAPAN TROPIC OF CANCER Gua \ (U.S)- .. MI C.R New . IGuinea *':*' c P *'-- .'* '.' AUSTRA SAURU GI TUVALU i (U.K.) FI: li S HAWAI t (U.S.) RTucific Ocem ILERT EQUATOR__ ISUANDS (U|K. ) ' I - o" FI M, _ _ _ oPCOP CPRICORN ' LIA o I I KILOMETERS S ATEQUATOR 2500 O STATUTEMILES 1500 .Sydney NW AT EQUATOR ,Sydne .. NEW elbor North ZEALAND ^Melbourne Island NA.. MAP BY LEOB. ZEBARTH NATIONALGEOGRAPHICARTDIVISION ONELY LODE midway between Australia and Hawaii (left), Nauru inherited its fortune from eons-old deposits of either decayed marine or ganisms or bird guano. In 1900, Albert Ellis discovered in Sydney that a "fos silized rock" from Nauru-used as a doorstop-was actually fantastically rich phosphate. Today, power grabs (below) gnaw the mineral from the coral-cloaked flanks of limestone pin nacles. After processing, the phosphate flows on cantilever conveyor belts into a Japanese bulk carrier (right)moored beyond the island's fringing reef.