Redonda is an uninhabited Caribbean island which is politically part of Antigua and Barbuda, in the Leeward Islands, West Indies. The island was named by Columbus in 1493. "Redonda" is the female form of the Spanish language adjective meaning "round". "Santa Maria de la Redonda" is a church in Seville, Spain, named for the Virgin Mary. The island of Redonda became part of Antigua and Barbuda in 1967.
Redonda is uninhabited, except by seabirds and a herd of feral goats that manage to survive on the poor grazing on top of the island. The steepness of the surface, the lack of a safe place to land a boat, and the lack of any fresh water source other than rainfall makes the island inhospitable to humans.
The island is about 1.6 kilometres long, 0.5 kilometres wide, and is 296 metres high at its highest point.
This small island lies between the islands of Nevis and Montserrat, 56.2 kilometres southwest of Antigua. Redonda is closer to Montserrat than to any other island; it is located at 22.5 kilometres northwest of Montserrat, and 32 kilometres southeast of Nevis.
Redonda is home to vast numbers of sea birds, and the island was an important source of guano before artificial fertilizers started to be mass-produced. Guano-mining operations started in the 1860s and ceased after the start of World War I. During these mining operations a few buildings and other installations were put in place on the island, and some physical remnants of that phase in its history are still visible.
At a distance, Redonda appears as if it were one very large rock. It is the remnant of an ancient extinct volcano. The land rises extremely steeply from sea level, mostly as sheer cliffs, especially on the leeward (west) side of the island. At the top of the island there is an area of grassland that slopes quite steeply to the east. There is no source of fresh water other than rain.
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