Seychelles (Say-shell'), a group of British islands, dependent on Mauritius, are situated near the middle of the Indian Ocean, 600 miles NE. of Madagascar and 934 N. of Mauritius. There are thirty larger islands and numerous smaller ones, their total area being 102 sq. m.; the largest and most important is Mahe (17 miles by 7). They were colonised by the French in 1742, though they were known to the early Portuguese navigators. The British wrested them from the French when they also took Mauritius (1794). The islands are mountainous, and in Mahe reach close upon 3000 feet. Coral-reefs grow round most of the islands. The climate, though tropical (70° to 93° F.), is very healthy. The soil is fertile and vegetation luxuriant. The principal products are the fibre, nuts, and oil of the cocoa-nut palm; but coco-de-iner, maize, manioc, tobacco, coffee, vanilla, cloves, tortoiseshell, soap, and vacoa bags are exported. The imports consist chiefly of cotton, haberdashery, coal, spirits and wine, and provisions. Victoria, the chief town on Mahe, is a coaling station. Pop. of the islands, upwards of 20,000 - negroes, coolies, and French Creoles.