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South Georgia Island
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South Georgia Island

September 5, 2005
Surrounded by clouds, the snow-covered South Georgia Island stands in stark relief. The island was named after King George III of England by Captain James Cook. From the 1800's to 1965, the island served as a base for seal and whale hunters. It was invaded by Argentina in 1982 during the Falklands War and recaptured by Great Britain several weeks later. The island was visited several times during the famed Shackleton expedition (an attempt to cross Antarctica on foot) in 1914. It is uninhabited by humans except for a small scientific research station staffed by the British Antarctic Survey. It is, however, home to abundant wildlife, including about 30 million seabirds: albatrosses, petrels, gulls, and penguins. Whales, fur seals, and elephant seals are also commonly found here. The island's wildlife is threatened by the introduction of non-native species, the depletion of the ozone layer, and by global warming.


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