Mascarene Islands

Mascarene Islands

[mas-kuh-reen, mas-kuh-reen]
noun (used with a plural verb)
a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, E of Madagascar, including Mauritius, Reunion, and Rodrigues.
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Mascarene Islands (ˌmæskəˈriːn)
 
pl n
French name: Îles Mascareignes a group of volcanic islands in the W Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar: consists of the islands of Réunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues

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mascarene islands

collectively, the islands of Reunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues, which are situated in a line along a submarine ridge, the Seychelles-Mauritius Plateau, 400 to 500 miles (640 to 800 km) northeast from southern Madagascar in the western Indian Ocean. All are volcanic in origin. The name Mascarene is taken from the 16th-century Portuguese explorer Pedro de Mascarenhas. The islands now form the country of Mauritius (Rodrigues Island is a dependency of Mauritius) and the French overseas departement of Reunion, and all face problems of extreme population pressure. Pop. (1998 est.) 1,851,700.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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