29 April, 2008

South Georgia Island

"Until the 1982 conflict in the Falkland Islands commanded the world's attention, few had heard of South Georgia Island. Southeast of the Falklands, South Georgia is lost in the midst of the Southern Ocean, one of the most remote regions on earth. South Georgia's climate is dominated by the freezing effects of the Antarctic continent 1,000 miles to the south. Glaciers coat more than half the island, and the scenery is spectacular, as if the Alps had been dropped down in the south Atlantic."

"South Georgia Island is isolated from the civilized world and trapped in the most cruel of climates, but it was destined for discovery. From its first recorded sightings more than 300 years ago until the 20th century, this icy paradise in the Southern Ocean has attracted explorers, merchants and governments."

"Despite its isolation, South Georgia is a vital breeding oasis for some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the planet. More than 2 million southern fur seals -- 95 percent of the world's population -- crowd onto the island each summer. Half the world's population of southern elephant seals also come to breed. Millions of penguins make the island their home; in some places, complete hillsides are covered with their nests. A quarter of a million albatrosses return each year, including the spectacular wandering albatross."

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