Abemama, which still has a 'royal family', nearly became the Gilbert Islands' post-war capital, but Tarawa finally won out because of the easier access through its surrounding reef.

An unusual species of tiny yellow 'barking' frog is found here, most likely introduced from Tuvalu to keep the mosquito population in check.

Robert Louis Stevenson dropped by Abemama in 1889 and his wife designed a silly flag for the island (including a shark wearing a crown), which understandably was never used. The British placed the Kingdom of Abemama under their protection in 1892, and it was declared a Crown Colony in 1911.