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Heard Island

Heard Inland is situated it the extreme Southern Indian Ocean, on the Kerguelen Plateau, south-west of the Australian continent and north of Antarctica. Heard Island was transferred from the UK to Australia in 1947. It is uninhabited and the closet land. The nearest human population centre from Heard Island is Perth, Western Australia. Heard Island is home to many rare and endangered animals and plants including 34 bird species, seven species of seals. He is most unique of all Sub-Antarctic islands.

Heard Island didn’t have visitors until 1833. First was Peter Kemp – a British sealer, but Captain John Heard an American sealer sighted the island in 1953 and named the island after him. A number of American Sealers spent a year or more on the island, living in appalling conditions in dark smelly huts. By 1880 most of the seal population had been wiped and the sealers left the island. There were a lot of expeditions, but the first Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) set up a station at the western at the island in December 1947. But the station closed in 1955.

Heard Island is volcanic and limestone island. Topography is dominated by Bib Ben massif / the only active volcano in Australian territory. Over 80 percent of Heard Island is permanently covered by ice. There is little soil and ice-free areas are widely separated and mostly confined to low-lying coastal areas. The remainder of the Island has a number of northern beaches.

There is harsh and variable climate and rapidly changing conditions. Consequently the island has a reputation as one of the wildest places on the earth. Temperature is not as cold as the Antarctic continent, hence (z toho dovodu) the opportunity for consistent research in various scientific fields has been possible.
There are historic remains of built heritage in the form of several ruins and artefacts left behind by whalers, sealers and scientific expeditions over the last century. Sealing era include stone platforms, hut ruins, occupied caves, gun parts graves and working areas.

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