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Waponi Woo was among the most remote islands on earth, in the southern Line Islands in the central Pacific Ocean, 230 km (140 mi) from the closest land at Flint and Caroline Islands, 1500 km (930 mi) from the nearest permanent settlement on Kiritimati, 4200 km (2600 mi) and 5100 km (3200 mi) from the nearest continental landmass in North America.
It was settled by migrating Polynesians with an admixture of some Romans, Celts and Jews from a lost galley in AD 190, Waponi Woo evolved a unique culture and language. The name Waponi Woo translates as Little Island with Big Volcano (or Volcano Islet), to distinguish it from the non-volcanic islets of the Line Islands. It was not discovered by Europeans until 1769 by Capt. James Cook's Endeavor. His botanist Joseph Banks declared it not worth claiming for the British Empire.
The Waponi remained governed under a Judeo-Polynesian power hierarchy with a Levitical priest and a Polynesian chief (Heb. tobi "goodness"). Once every hundred years, on the anniversary of the first threatened eruption, when the stomach of Woo growled, the bravest of the Waponi would pray like the three brave men in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3) and face death or deliverence in the fiery mouth of Woo. In 1890 when Woo threatened to destroy the island yet again, influenced by French missionaries, priest Daniel Ben-Levi prayed that the centuries of human self-sacrifices to Woo would end once and for all, hoped for a miracle and jumped into the volcano himself. In memory of his courage the Waponi erected a large bust and made dolls in his image.
. The Waponi remained isolated from and virtually unknown to the outside world until World War II when GI Joes introduced oranges to the Waponi. A cargo cult soon developed which was exploited after the war by Samuel Harvey Graynamore who marketed an suspectedly addictive orange soda to the Waponi under the brand name Jump when Graynamore's corporation discovered that Waponi Woo had the world's largest deposit of natural technetium (known locally as boobah-roo), which Graynamore wanted to attempt to use in the manufacture of superconductors. Before the mining rights could be obtained however the technetium became unstable causing the final eruption of Mt. Woo and the sinking of Waponi Woo in 1990. The escape of the Waponi to Flint Island (aka Little Island with No Volcano) is credited by the Waponi to the prayers of the three young men, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Two visiting Americans also survived, Patricia and Joseph Banks, daughter and son-in-law of Samuel Harvey Graynamore, rescued by his yacht, the Tweedle Dum. The Waponi were soon all absorbed into greater Polynesia and the unique Waponi culture like their island home passed into history, except for the short documentary by the Line Island Historical Society, "The Last Days of Woo", which was expanded and made into "Joe vs. the Volcano".