The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a remote territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean. Its 2 coral atolls comprise 27 tiny islands with white-sand beaches, palm trees and lagoons. Pictured on this postcard is the Prison Island. This now tiny island housed a prison in the early days of settlement, though little remains of this today except the name. In local language, Malay, it is known as Pulu Beras – ‘rice island’. Prison Island is also a place of legend – the Cocos Malay people say that a mermaid lives there and that she calls back home any Cocos-born people who leave the islands’ shores.