What is Kerguelen? Islands. The Kerguelen Archipelago is a group of 301 islands, the largest of which is the Grand-Ter (which means "big land"), because it occupies 92.5% of the total area of 7215 square meters. Km. It is him in the whole world who is considered Kerguelen. Geographical coordinates of the island of Kerguelen: 49 of 15`y.sh. 69 of the 15`.d.
General description of Kerguelen Archipelago
The archipelago is located 2 thousand kilometers from the coast of Antarctica, on the southern side of the Indian Ocean, and is a component of the French Southern and Antarctic territories. The western part of the island is covered with an ice cap of Cook, covering 400 sq. Km. Km. Territory. The Kerguelen Islands are the result of volcanic activity, dotted with numerous ponds and lakes. The Mont-Ross volcano - the highest point of Kerguelen, is located in the south-west direction and reaches a height of 1800 meters above sea level.
Kerguelen is also called the Islands of Recklessness, Desolation, Loneliness, Hopelessness. And it's easy to explain: there are very few desolate empty places on the globe.
Climatic conditions of the island
The climate of the island of Kerguelen is severe, with constantly blowing cold winds from the west. Their speed has a hurricane force of 150-200 km / h. The shores shake under the storm waves that are falling on them.
History of Kerguelen Archipelago
Its name (in the first version it was Kerguelen's land) the archipelago was named after the French navigator Iva-Joseph Tremarek de Kerguelen, who discovered this land in February 1772. A year later the Frenchman made a new expedition to the islands, after which he was imprisoned. The reason for the conclusion: Kerguelen left part of his team on a deserted island. The court could not prove the guilt of the navigator, he was soon released and completed his career in the rank of counter-admiral.
In 1776 the island of Kerguelen was visited by James Cook, the famous seafarer; In his honor received its name glacier, which covers the mountain of Mont-Ross - the highest peak of the island.
In France, the discovery of Kerguelen did not arouse much interest. In 1893, the Gavrian brothers-merchants Gavier received a concession for economic activities for a period of 50 years and the rights of residents. Entrepreneurs started breeding sheep, but such an undertaking did not bring the expected result.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Kerguelen's docks, the Port of Joan of Arc and Port-aux-Français, were whaling bases and were carrying out immense poaching of valuable animals without regard for any norms. Having exterminated almost all sperm whales and seals, whalers left these territories.
Further, in 1928, at the pier of Port-aux-Français, the French built a small canning factory engaged in processing lobsters. But this venture had to be abandoned because of the drunken brawl of the workers, because the police on the islands would have been unprofitable, the women also refused to go here.
Kerguelen - the territory of France
In 1939, France confirmed its own rights to the Kerguelen Islands and sent to their territories a ship "Bougainville". After a series of studies, it became clear that the archipelago is convenient in terms of geophysical and meteorological observations, due to its geographical location. However, the embodiment of this concept was prevented by the Second World War. Such a convenient place was taken by another country - Germany. In the years 1940-1942. To the archipelago as a secluded place, located on the edge of the world, the German cruisers began to swim and hold secret meetings here on which the plans for sea operations were developed.
In 1949 on the island the French built a research station, which still works today. In 1955, the Parliament of the French Republic passed a law stating that the Kerguelen archipelago, among other islands and archipelagoes, is an originally French territory and is called the French possession in the Antarctic. On the island since the 1970s is a satellite communications station.
Ordinary life on the island
The nearest centers of civilization are at a distance of thousands of nautical miles. On the island of Kerguelen in the Indian Ocean aircraft do not fly. Only scientists, workers of harbors, personnel of the station of satellite tracking, workers of establishments of household purpose live here; There is no permanent population. In the summer it is about 200 people, in winter - 2 times less.
If you look at the life of the island of Kerguelen with the view of a man from the outside, you can say that here there is a struggle for survival. Scientists: geologists, meteorologists, biologists, climatologists, geophysicists - do shift work, which is of great importance for all mankind. After all, obtaining the most complete information about the processes taking place on our planet gives at least some understanding of them.
Scientists conducting such necessary research, interestingly spend their own leisure: they go on skis, build bonfires, shoot well, they can orientate themselves on the terrain. After all, in such conditions it is necessary to be most attentive; Inattention and relaxation are simply dangerous; The slightest step away from the station - and a person can easily get lost and disappear in an unknown direction. There are no roads on Kerguelen, but people have adapted to drive around the island on off-road cars.
Vegetation of Kerguelen
What's growing on Kerlene? On all islands there is grass, juicy and high. Also occasionally there are creeping shrubs. In this way the plants have adapted to strong winds. There are no trees on Kerguelen at all. The most common plant - wild cabbage, covering the summer period with a solid green carpet large spaces.
The islands are inhabited by large colonies of sea elephants, penguins, flocks of cormorants, gulls and other birds from southern latitudes. On the shores of the island, there are macrourus and natogeneia, and krill concentrations are the largest in Antarctica. Once upon a time, scientists launched trout and salmon into streams; These fish have successfully settled down here, as well as the rabbits and cats brought in by the sailors in the 19th century to fight the rats. These animals multiplied and feral, in the number of their crossed the 15-thousand boundary. Cats survive due to hunting for birds and small fish, sometimes stealing it from abandoned penguins; Rabbits eat cabbage.
Monetary units of the island
Kerguelen has his own currency. True, her appointment is more souvenir. For commercial transactions, the euro is applied here. On a 100-franc Kerguelen bill the portrait of Kerguelen is immortalized, on the reverse there is a portrait of a black cat; Also, the image of the cat's muzzle is on the back of the 200- and 500-franc notes.