The name is controverted. It seems to be the "Rapta" of the antique books, the "Rat Island" mentioned by Fr. André Thevet (in 1556). It's the second largest island in area, with 6,8 km² of dark rocks and steep cliffs.
Lighthouse keepers and their families inhabited the island in the past. The death of children due to the delay of the water supply to the Rata Island, caused by access difficulties, triggered the installation of an automatic lighthouse.
The island was also the base of the commercial experience of the "Guano Company", which explored the "guano" (calcium phosphate), very abundant in its whole surface as a result of the accumulation of solidified seafowl excrements and considered "the biggest storage yard of zoogenic phosphates of Brazil".
The Pontal da Macaxeira and the Lucena Island can be distinguished, whereby this one forms another island at the high tide. Iron ladders fastened to the rocks allow the access of scientists and Marine supervisors.