Nauru, island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of a raised coral island located in south eastern Micronesia, 25 miles (40 km) south of the Equator.
Most of Nauru rises somewhat abruptly from the ocean, and there are no harbours or protected anchorages. A fairly fertile but relatively narrow belt encircles the island and surrounds the shallow inland Buada Lagoon.
Settled by Micronesians and Polynesians at least 3,000 years ago, the remote Pacific island nation was annexed by Germany in 1888, ruled by the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand under a League of Nations mandate after the First World War, captured by the Japanese in 1942, then governed (again by the UK, Australia and New Zealand) under a United Nations agreement until 1966. Full independence came two years later.