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Murchisonfjord: Søre Russeøya

Søre Rus­seøya is the lar­gest island in Murchi­son­fjord. Gent­ly rol­ling ele­va­tions with good views over the land­s­cape near and far; desert-like, bar­ren, sto­ny tun­dra with the occa­sio­nal frost-pat­ter­ned ground and fos­sils liter­al­ly as old as the hills (much older, actual­ly): upper pro­ter­o­zoic stroma­to­li­tes, or in other words colo­nies of sin­gle-cel­led cal­ca­re­ous algae, not much youn­ger than a bil­li­on years. Without such algae, the­re wouldn’t be any free oxy­gen in the atmo­s­phe­re. In other words: we would not exist without them. Let’s be a bit appre­cia­ti­ve! A weird thought when you stand in this polar desert area, lar­ge­ly free of life.

In 1902-03 four Nor­we­gi­ans led by the Dane Hen­ry Ette win­te­red on Søre Rus­seøya. All five men got scur­vy. Two died, the remai­ning three sur­vi­ved as they mana­ged to get hold of fresh bear meat.

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last modification: 2019-02-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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