Located across three tropical islands, the combination of beautiful rainforests on land and stunning coral reefs below the surface could easily make this area pass for paradise. An important habitat for fruit bats, geckos, diverse marine life, and colorful birds, the volcanic history of this island chain has made it a rich place for unique plant and animal life to develop. Surprisingly, this ancient-seeming place has a relatively short history, the islands being formed in the past 2 million years and human occupation occurring some 3,000 years ago. Colonization brought change and nearly buried the native history of these islands, but now work is being done to bring these ancient cultures back into the light. This is American Samoa, a national park unlike any other you might find on the mainland.
Officially known as the National Park of American Samoa, this national park has the distinction of being the only U.S. National Park south of the equator and only the second national park located in a U.S. Territory rather than a U.S. state. Located in the South Pacific, American Samoa is actually closer to Australia or New Zealand than it is to the U.S. Only slightly larger than Washington, D.C., American Samoa is only a portion of the full Samoan Islands with the rest belonging to the independent Samoa and the national park works to preserve the ancient heritage and natural beauty of these islands.
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