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Satellite image of Maro Reef

Coordinates: 25°24′54″N 170°35′24″W / 25.415°N 170.590°W / 25.415; -170.590 Maro Reef (Hawaiian: Nalukākala - "surf that arrives in combers") is a largely submerged coral atoll located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It was discovered in 1820 by Captain Joseph Allen of the ship Maro, after whose ship the reef was named. With a total area of 747 square miles (1,935 km2), it is the largest coral reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It contains 37 species of stony coral. Unlike most atolls, the coral extends out from the center like spokes on a wheel. Located about 850 miles (740 nmi; 1,370 km) northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, Maro Reef contains about 1 acre (4,000 m2) of dry land which itself can be submerged depending on the tides. Some scientists believe that it "may be on the verge of drowning" because the reefs are detached and are vulnerable to strong storm waves.[1]

USNS Mission San Miguel (T-AO-129) ran aground on the reef, while running at full speed and in ballast, and sank on October 8, 1957.

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