Nauru, the world's smallest republic, is a small oval shaped coral island, located just 25 miles south of the Equator.
Dominated by a central phosphate plateau, it's surrounded by a coral reef and ringed by windswept palm trees and a sandy beach.
Originally settled by Polynesian and Melanesian explorers, Nauru had little contact with Europeans until whaling ships and other traders began to visit the islands in the 1830s.
Occupied by the Japanese in World War II, Nauru was made a United Nations' trust territory at the end of that war, finally gaining its long-sought independence in 1968.
In 1899, a British company discovered that Nauru was almost solid phosphate, and the subsequent mining of that valuable substance has long been the major economic activity on the island. Over a century of mining has stripped much of it away, and the country's financial future is questionable once that resource is depleted.
Nauru has limited tourism activities, however, those in the know recognize the diving and fishing conditions here are world class.
Nauru Timeline here
With its location just south of the Equator, Nauru's weather is hot and very humid year-round.
Average daily high temperatures are near 90 degrees, and heavy rainfall is common throughout the year. The monsoon season is November through February.