The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas // are an archipelago within Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi (Celebes), west of New Guinea, and north and east of Timor. The islands were also historically known as the "Spice Islands" by the Chinese and Europeans, but this term has also been applied to other islands outside Indonesia.
Ternate is an island in the Maluku Islands (Moluccas) of eastern Indonesia. It was the center of the powerful former Sultanate of Ternate. It is located off the west coast of the larger island of Halmahera.
Like its neighbouring island, Tidore, Ternate is a visually dramatic cone-shaped island. The islands are ancient Islamic sultanates with a long history of bitter rivalry. The islands were once the world's single major producer of cloves, a commodity that allowed their sultans to become amongst the wealthiest and most powerful of all sultans in the Indonesian region. In the precolonial era, Ternate was the dominant political and economic power over most of the "Spice Islands" of Maluku.
Today, Ternate City is the largest town in the province of North Maluku, within which the island constitutes a municipality (kotamadya). It is, however, no longer the provincial capital, a title now held by the town of Sofifi on Halmahera.
The "Ternate Essay" was a pioneering account of evolution by natural selection written on the island by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858, and famously sent to Charles Darwin. Darwin at once responded by publishing Wallace's essay alongside his own accounts of the theory.