22 massive WWII bombs found in Tuvalu lagoon

22 500lb bombs, were found underwater at Nanumea in Tuvalu by a naval team from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. 

 Sailors aboard the New Zealand ship HMNZS Te Kaha raise their hats to Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean as she sails by during a Fleet Review in Victoria, British Columbia June 12, 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS/Andy Clark)
Sailors aboard the New Zealand ship HMNZS Te Kaha raise their hats to Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean as she sails by during a Fleet Review in Victoria, British Columbia June 12, 2010.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Andy Clark)

22 500lb bombs, were found underwater at Nanumea in Tuvalu this week. The bombs, a relic of World War II, were discovered by a naval team from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US

These Bombs were discovered during a joint operation of the Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American forces, with the target being locating and clearing any explosive remnants from the World War II era.

Now that the bombs have been identified and located, the operation to dispose of them could be underway and is expected to begin next year. 

How will the bombs be disposed of?

The Tuvalu government asked the Australian Defence Forces to lead the expedition, as the tiny island country is one of the smallest nations in the world.

 Tuvalu's Prime Minister Kausea Natano speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. (credit:  REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY/POOL) Tuvalu's Prime Minister Kausea Natano speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY/POOL)

Tuvalu was originally settled by a Polynesian people and was colonized by the British Empire at the end of the 19th century. During that time, the islands were known as the Elice islands, and during World War II, the United States Marine Corps was stationed on the island, and some naval battles took place near it.

After the war, as the British Empire started to de-colonize, Tuvalu slowly transitioned from a colony to an independent state. Only in 1978 did Tuvalu become fully independent from the UK but remained in the Commonwealth.