Solomon Islands, an archipelago in the western Pacific, since 1899 all British except Bougainville and a few smaller islands, which are German. The islands lie 500 miles E. of New Guinea, and stretch 600 miles SE. in two parallel chains. The north-eastern chain embraces Bougainville, Choiseul, Ysabel, and Malaita; the south-western Vella Lavella, Kulambangra, New Georgia, Guadalcanar, and San Cristoval. Besides these, which are 70 to 110 miles long, and 20 to 30 wide, there are many smaller ones. They have a total area of 15,000 sq. m. (of which 8357 sq. m. are British), are nearly all volcanic, and are densely wooded to the highest summits (10,000 feet in Bougainville, 8000 in Guadalcanar, 4100 in San Cristoval). There is an extraordinarily heavy annual rainfall, estimated at 500 inches on the mountains, and 150 on the coasts. The temperature ranges from 75° to 95° F. The people, 176,000 Papuans or Melanesians, are divided into a great number of tribes, constantly at war with one another, but their head-hunting and other savage and cannibal habits are now on the wane. This group was discovered by the Spaniard Men-dana in 1567; but was rediscovered (1767-88) by Carteret, Bougainville. Surville, and Shortland. See works by Guppy (2 vols. 1887) and Woodford (1890).