|Across a distance of nearly 2,000 miles, the archipelago of Micronesia encompasses a land area of only 271 square miles. It is believed that the original inhabitants of Micronesia came from the Philippines and Indonesia about 1500 years before Christ. In 1521, Magellan made landfall in the Marianas and in 1565, Spain laid claim to the islands. In 1899, the Caroline Islands were sold to Germany and after World War I, the League of Nations gave Japan a mandate over the islands. Japan successfully developed the mining industry, and the fishing and agricultural (particularly sugarcane) domains. Part of the UN Trust Territory following World War II, Micronesia became independent of US administration in 1986.