Ben’s Place of the Week
Coordinates: 10 30 S 195 40 E
Area: 60 sq. mi. (155 sq. km)
Maybe if he’d given it more thought, Old Saint Nick would have opened his workshop in a slightly more salubrious location than the North Pole. Somewhere like, say, Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Very nearly as remote but considerably warmer than Finnish Lapland where he can currently be reached, Christmas Island was so named when a ship owned by the East India Company anchored offshore on December 25, 1643.
Granted, the monsoon season might be a slight annoyance and the humidity would require some adjustments to his costume, plus Santa would probably have to trade in his reindeer for a team of red land crabs (roughly 120 million currently reside here), but squeezing in some scuba diving would certainly be easier. At present this small Australian dependency south of Java supports some tourism, limited tropical fruit farming, and phosphate mining.
Ben Keene is the editor of Oxford Atlas of the World. Check out some of his previous places of the week.