Cosmoledo is a small atoll in the Seychelles in the Outer Islands group. Cosmoledo is about 640 miles away from the Seychelles' capital city of Victoria, which is on Mahe Island. Its closest neighbor is Aldabra, which is a remote island preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Historically, Cosmoledo has been a refuge for fishermen and traders passing through the Seychelles on their voyages through the Indian Ocean. While there are still no full-time residents on Cosmodelo, the atoll's large and diverse fish populations make it one of the most popular islands in the Seychelles for chartered fishing excursions.
A total of 23 islands form Cosmoledo, which is part of the Aldabra Group. Like the other Seychelles islands, Cosmoledo has been visited by a number of European trade and exploration expeditions over the years. Historians believe that the island was initially discovered by Portuguese sailors due to the fact that it is named after a Portuguese explorer. While there is no evidence of long-term settlements on Cosmoledo, remnants of makeshift shelters and written historical accounts give some indication of human life on Cosmoledo in the past. Several huts were discovered in the 1870s, and they are believed to have sheltered survivors of the ship Merry Monarch that sunk off Cosmoledo's coast in 1874. In 1895, the island was briefly home to a small plantation with goats, maize, and coconut trees. More recently, the atoll was home to small station used as a base for research and fishing. The station was abandoned, however, in 1992.
Cosmoledo's land surfaces are formed largely from coral growth. Below the surface of its waters is a volcanic bed that makes Cosmoledo virtually identical geographically to Astove Island, which is another island in the Seychelles. A lagoon covers a large part of Cosmoledo's interior, and the openings between the ocean and lagoon have created several passages that divide portions of the island's surface. Sand dunes and sandy beaches are part of the landscape on Cosmoledo's western shores. Cosmoledo's largely undisturbed nature and unique terrain makes it a prime spot for wildlife. The atoll has the last of the Seychelles' brown booby population, and it also has the largest red-footed booby population in the Indian Ocean. Frigatebirds, crested turns, and the Madagascar turtle dove are other birds found on Cosmoledo.