Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Antarctica: Penguins and Protection

Historically, the southernmost continent of Antarctica appeared on early maps as “Terra Australis Incognita,” the “unknown southern land.”

The existence of a southerly continent was first postulated by the ancient Greeks, explained biologist Miguel Rubio-Godoy. He was one of eight Expedition Team scientist-lecturers on board Norwegian company Hurtigruten’s 19-day Antarctic Expedition. Rubio- Godoy noted that the Greeks believed the earth was round. And, because they thought nature exists in harmony, they also thought there must be a cold southern continent to “balance” the already known northern hemisphere continents.

Polar bears and penguins

Today, the name Antarctica acknowledges Greek philosophy. Rubio-Godoy said, “The Arctic lies beneath the Great Bear constellation, named for the Greek word ‘arctos’, or ‘bear’, so ‘Antarctica’ means ‘opposite the bear’.”
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Published in The Equity, January 15, 2014.
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