Memory Monday: A South American Tour… Animals and Icebergs

Les Eclaireurs lighthouse on the Beagle Channel

Last Monday my top image was a photo of the Beagle Channel; however, I failed to mention this stretch of water actually played quite a fascinating part in 19th century exploration and science. The channel, lying just south of Ushuaia, is one of three navigable passages around the tip of South America. And you may have guessed that the channel was named after the ship HMS Beagle, which made its first exploratory voyage through the straits in 1826-1830 (Charles Darwin sailed in the Beagle on her second voyage, 1831-1836).

South American sea lions along the shores of the Beagle Channel

It’s hard to tell for sure, but these MIGHT be penguins

The area around the Beagle Channel is home to at least two types of penguins (Magellanic and southern rockhoppers) and a great many other types of birds.

If you look closely, you might see a herd of guanacos here

If you’re looking for some truly amazing remnants of the last ice age, you’ll find them roughly 600 miles/962 km north from Ushuaia in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At least seven glaciers here feed into Lake Argentino; the Upsala Glacier is the largest in South America, but the more famous glacier is Perito Moreno, which I’ll be showing images of next week.

It’s difficult to tell from the image above just how enormous the Upsala Glacier truly was when these photos were shot back in 2000; unfortunately, all of the glaciers have retreated significantly since then.

Most of the photos are not labeled, so I can only guess that these pictures show Lake Argentino and some of the icebergs that have calved from the surrounding glaciers.

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