hidden europe 49

Bouvet Island

by hidden europe


Bouvet Island, at the southern end of the mid-Atlantic ridge, is 1,800 kilometres away from the nearest landmass (Antarctica) and is thus one of the remotest places on earth. The normal jumping off point for expeditions to this fragment of Norwegian territory is Cape Town.

Sail south-west from Cape Town and, long before you reach Antarctica, you might well stumble on a fragment of Norway. It is easy to miss Bouvet Island. So easy, in fact, that although it was first recorded in 1739 many subsequent expeditions to the South Atlantic simply failed to locate Bouvet Island. The island takes its name from the French explorer Jean- Baptiste Bouvet de Lozier who in 1739 made an expeditionary voyage through the South Atlantic, in the course of which he discovered Bouvet Island. He incorrectly noted its position, not because of navigational incompetence on his part but rather due to shortcomings in the instruments he had to hand. In the 19th century, British, American and Norwegian sealers made landings on Bouvet, but it was not until 1927 that Norway made a formal claim to the island.

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