Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Interactive HMS Beagle Voyage

The Natural History Museum in London recently unveiled an interactive tool that traces the route of the HMS Beagle.

Each virtual stop - sixteen are listed in total - features a quote from Charles Darwin that introduces his thoughts on that particular destination.

Here are a few examples:

January 1832
Cape Verde Islands
Darwin is exhilarated by his first observations.
"It then first dawned on me that I might perhaps write a book on the geology of the various countries visited, and this made me thrill with delight."

September 1832
Punta Alta, Argentina
Darwin is intrigued by the giant fossils he sees.
"I have been wonderfully lucky with fossil bones. Some of the animals must have been of great dimensions! I am almost sure that many of them are quite new."

January-February 1835
Chiloe Island, Chile
Darwin sees Mount Osomo erupt while on the island of Chiloe and experiences the earthquake in the woods near Valdivia. Seeing the aftermath of the earthquake affected him tremendously.
"I believe this earthquake has done more in degrading or lessening the size of the island, than 100 years of ordinary wear and tear."

The tool provides a useful snapshot and reminder of the breadth of Darwin's voyages. Check it out here:

Roxanne Enman

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