Christmas Island is an atoll in the Indian Ocean. Atolls are rarely a single, ring-shaped island. Most atolls are a series of small islands, or islets, connected by shallow channels above the underlying coral foundation. Deeper channels, cut by harsh ocean waves and wind, connect an atoll's lagoon to the open ocean.

Photograph by Jean Fan, MyShot

Oh no! It appears that there was an error with your submission. Care to try again?

Coming soon!

You've found a feature that is not available.

Get notified when this feature is available

Our media can be used in a variety of contexts—from media spotlights to encyclopedic entries to lessons. From this page, check out the different ways you can use this .

Other Pages That Use This Item

atoll Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
4 - 12 and up

Geography, Social Studies, Science

Appropriate For

  • Educators
  • Families
  • Students

Encyclopedic entry. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef, island, or series of islets. The atoll surrounds a body of water called a lagoon.