Saturday, May 9, 2015


About 1 in 10, did I say earlier, of the world's coral atolls and volcanic islands, that they turn out to be French? I shall have to recalculate this number when I have completed the full catalogue, but it may well prove to be a massive under-estimation.

Mayotte is another of those small islands off the east coast of Africa, close by Madagascar, a part of the Comoros archipelago, the other three of which became independent of France in 1975. But not Mayotte, which held a referendum on the issue in 2009, and voted to remain an integral part of France.

The fastest century in test cricket was scored by Misbah-ul-Haq of Pakistan, against Australia, on November 2nd 2014, taking just fifty-four deliveries. The highest number of home runs in a baseball career is held by Barry Bonds, with seven hundred and sixty-two. The most goals scored by any player in the soccer world cup is Germany’s Miroslav Klose with sixteen. And the prize for the most military coups ever staged in one country goes to…Mayotte…with a staggering twenty.

A Moslem country, despite being French, and with less than half its population actually able to speak, let alone read or write French, it practices polygamy, and girls are free to marry, or actually to be married, which is not quite the same thing, at fifteen.

So significant is Mayotte on the world stage that Index Mundi, one of the more useless reference websites for the state of the world, does not even include it - but neither does the CIA World FactBook, which also, and even more inexplicably, omits Martinique. lists it, but has no page for it. has a fairly extensive page, which includes data that explains the incomprehensible mishmash of Wikipedia's page; Wikipedia, which is about as reliable on any subject as the Burmese official news agency or the Warren Report, states (my quote has been verified by three independent proof-readers) that "The term Mayotte (or Maore) may refer to the group of islands, of which the largest is known as Maore (French: Grande-Terre), and it includes Maore's surrounding islands, most notably Pamanzi (Petite-Terre), or to the largest island mentioned." 

Absence from the above websites is, as stated, a sign that very little of significance ever happens on Mayotte, which is not a good thing. Total absence from the websites of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is also a sign that very little of significance ever happens on Mayotte, but in these two cases, this is a very good thing.

Marks for: 2

Marks against: 1

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