Caroline Islands, a group in the Western Pacific, lying between the Marshall and Pelew islands, with an area of about 270 sq. m., and a pop. of some 36,000; but the Pelew (q.v.) group is generally included in the Caroline Archipelago (area, 560 sq. m.; pop. 36,000), which thus stretches across 32 degrees of longitude and 9 of latitude. There are some 500 small atolls in the archipelago, but three-fourths of both area and population are included in the five volcanic islands of Babelthouap, Yap, Rouk, Ponape (Ascension), and Kusari (Strong Island). The climate is moist, but not unhealthy, and is tempered by cooling breezes. The people are strongly built, gentle, amiable, and intelligent; they are bold sailors, and carry on a brisk trade with the Ladrones to the north, where they have several settlements. Copra is largely exported. The islands were discovered in 1527 by the Portuguese, and called Sequeira; in 1686 they were annexed and rechristened in honour of Charles II. by the Spaniards, who, however, shortly changed the name to New Philippines. In 1885 the hoisting of the German flag on Yap gave rise to a sharp dispute with Spain, which was submitted to the arbitration of the pope, who decided in favour of Spain. But in 1899 the islands were ceded to Germany, Spain retaining a coaling-station. - A British Caroline island near the Marquesas is only 2 sq. m. in area.