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Informationen über King George Insel

King George Island is widely known as the “Gateway to the Antarctic”. More than 10 different nations have permanent scientific bases here, and that’s reflected in the different names the island is known as: “Isla 25 de Mayo” in Argentina, “Isla Rey Jorge” in Chile, and “Ватерло́о Vaterloo” in Russia.

King George has the only airport in the South Shetland Islands. Its strategic location, next to the Chilean base Eduardo Frei (with flights from Chile), and just 75 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula, makes it the most important staging and connection hub in the region.

By maintaining a base, a nation is granted membership of the Antarctic Treaty, and hence there is a cosmopolitan population of scientists in residence most of the time on King George Island. This might explain why there’s a Russian Orthodox church here (one of the very few permanent buildings in the whole of Antarctica) with a priest always in residence!

All this is even more impressive when you realize that more than 90% of the 59 miles long by 16 miles wide island is permanently covered with ice and snow. This suits the native wildlife just fine, and King George Island is home to many different species including Weddell, leopard, and elephant seals, gentoo, chinstrap, and Adelie penguins, and many seabirds such as skuas and southern giant petrels.

Interessante Fakten über King George Insel

Die ansässige Tierwelt wird im Sommer durch das warme Klima angezogen (obwohl „warm“ ein relativer Begriff für die Antarktis ist, da die durchschnittliche Sommertemperatur bei etwa -1 Grad plus oder minus liegt!) Die Insel ist Gegenstand mehrerer Ansprüche auf Souveränität, seit die Briten sie 1819 entdeckten und nach König Georg III. benannten. Chile und Argentinien erheben ebenfalls Anspruch auf die Insel, aber sie bleibt weiterhin Teil des britischen Antarktis-Territoriums.

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