REASONS WHY THE ASCENSION ISLAND IS A BEAUTIFUL GEOGRAPHICAL LOGIC FAIL
Added on: 4th Sep 2016
SMALL ISLAND, BIG CLIMATE
Few, if any, places in the world have the bizarre capability to
be both hot and cold at the same time. Enter Ascension:
a tiny hunk of volcanic rock atop a mid-Atlantic undersea
volcano which rose from the ocean about a million years ago
child’s play, geologically speaking. Average temperatures
at sea level average 72-88°F (22 to 31°C) and the average
mercury at the highest point ranges from 9-11°F (-11 to -13°C).
THE FOOD SOURCE WIPES OUT ITS FOOD SOURCE
Aiming to make the island useful to passing mariners, the
Portuguese (the first to discover the island) released goats
around the island. When they came back, they found the
goats had eaten many of the local species to extinction.
Ascension is technically a territory of the United Kingdom.
When the Brits landed on the island in 1815, it was uninhabited.
The island may not have been settled due to its geographical
remoteness and its volcanic activity, expected as
recently as the 1500’s.
THE BRITS DEFEND THE RESCUE OF NAPOLEON
Napoleon Bonaparte was famously exiled to the nearby island of
St. Helena, 700 miles (1,127 kms) to the southeast. To prevent
the French from rescuing him, the British built a fort on
Ascension in 1815.
THE LONGEST RUNWAY IN THE WORLD
Ascension’s runway was formerly the longest in the world,
made to fit a potential emergency landing of the now
decommissioned space shuttles. The runway is still operated
by the U.S. Air Force and access is only granted in
limited circumstances to Great Britain.
THE ISLAND WHERE NOBODY IS FROM
Though around 800 people live on Ascension, nobody is
considered a resident. Based on a U.K. law restricting the
right of abode, these British citizens are classified as
HOW TO ENTER ASCENSION
Entering Ascension Island requires the written permission of the
representative of the Queen of England, known as the
DARWIN VISITED THE ISLAND
Charles Darwin and the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at
Kew, Joseph Hooker, visited the island in 1836 and 1843,
respectively, and attempted to make it habitable. Hooker
planted trees across the summit of Green Mountain to trap
moisture and provide a water supply for the garrison’s troops.
AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER
Though their plan worked, the greening of Ascension is today
regarded as an ecological disaster. Though plenty of trees
and shrubs grow on the formerly desolate rocky peaks, the
island lacks the complex inter-relationships of a functioning
ecosystem. Even worse, nearly all of the native species
are going extinct.