Juan Fernndez

Juan Fernndez hwn f?rnnd?s [key], group of small islands, S Pacific, c.400 mi (640 km) W of Valparaiso, Chile. They belong to Chile and are constitutionally a special territory; they are administered as a part of Valparaiso prov. The two principal islands are Isla Robinson Crusoe (formerly Ms a Tierra) and Isla Alejandro Selkirk (formerly Ms Afuera); they acquired their present names in 1966. Volcanic in origin, they have a pleasant climate and are rugged and largely wooded. Robinson Crusoe is the only inhabited island. The chief occupation is lobster fishing. Discovered by the Spanish navigator Juan Fernndez in 1563, the islands achieved fame with the publication of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719), generally acknowledged to have been inspired by the confinement on Ms a Tierra (1704?9) of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor. Occupied by the Spanish in 1750, the islands passed to Chile upon its independence. In the 19th cent., Isla Robinson Crusoe was a penal colony. The islands are now a national park, and a marine reserve protects more than 100,000 sq mi (260,000 sq km) of the surrounding waters.

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