After beginning our journey to the Pitcairn Islands with a stop in Matavai Bay, Tahiti, where the Bounty anchored befored its legendary mutiny, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala and team boarded a small plane and took to the air to reach our next destination: the island of Mangareva in the Gambier Archipelago.
Both Mangareva and Tahiti are part of the island group of French Polynesia, and between them are dozens of high islands and atolls, and we saw many from the windows of our plane. Despite working for National Geographic, I myself was in the dark regarding how these different kinds of islands form, and was happy to have one of the team scientists, Alan Friedlander next to me to explain the geology behind these delicately beautiful land forms.
In the gallery above see some of these islands from the air and the surface, and discover the fascinating story of how they came to be.
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