(Although: what exactly *is* a continent, anyway?)
Enjoyable throughout, as always. I recently read that researchers have discovered an underwater canyon in the Antarctic Ocean, thanks to deep-diving seals: they fitted over 200 southern elephant seals with trackers, and they did what seals do and dove down into the ocean, deeper than mapping has thus far reached. After the sealscovery, sonar measurements confirmed the existence of a canyon plunging to depths of more than 2km. Wondering how our seal friends can further help map areas we can't see otherwise.....
This newsletter is an island of delight in an endless sea of online content. I love that regardless of where it starts (Capsizing teenage boys! Clueless, homophobic bigots! MURDER swans!) it never ends up where I think it will, and every step along the way is interesting and funny and informative and joyful.
If only history could be taught this way in the classroom. There'd be a lot more history majors!
Oh Mike, I've been busting as I waited for this series to begin.
I live on a tiny island to the south of the 'island continent' of Australia, an island state of our nation called Tasmania.
My husband works across the islands of what we call the Asia-Pacific Basin.
I've been idly wondering if at any point you might delve into the islander mentality. Whatever the case, I think this series will be one to remember.
Perhaps Zealandia is a continent akin to Pluto being a planet. The idea of it resonates whilst the physicality of it seems very dissimilar to the others which are allowed to claim the name. One is in the way of becoming. The other already submerged under the sea of science.
Fascinating read Mike! I learned so much and I love learning new things!
How fascinating and amazing storytelling .. and Happy Deepavali
A brilliant post, Mike. Savage Yorkshire swans and all (they're friendlier in Devon). Now I have a question for you: I've lived on 5 continents (giving Antartica and the new one a miss). In your expert opinion, does that make me an example of continental drift?
Thank you for this humorous instruction on the continents. So much has changed since I was a schoolgirl learning about the "seven" continents. Now that I'm preparing to homeschool my grandson, you've helped me learn what I perhaps should teach him ... until of course that nomenclature and lines all change again.
With all of this talk of continents, you've made my head hurt, so thanks for that.
As a current resident of Australia and a future visitor to Zealandia, let me know if you need me to investigate anything closer for you.
Also, I can think of nothing more natural between two men than harassing swans.
Well, this is fascinating! Thank you, Mike, for adjusting and readjusting the lens of perspective.
As usual Mr S, you have boggled my world. I only wish that my ageing memory was up to the task of retaining more than a fraction of the gems you dig up for our edification.
I love how definitions change over time. You can see this sort of... problem? most prevalently in the conversations around artificial intelligence. "Is it thinking?" "When will AI be conscious/sentient/whatever?" Of course, nobody can agree on a definition of any of those words like "thinking" or "conscious" or what have you.
As a kid, I could never understand why Eurasia isn't really a continent all to itself.
I feel like I repeat myself in your comments section because I always just love reading these, and like Asha said I can never predict where they'll go and it's always a surprising delight.
I am disconcerted, though, thinking of all those unpeopled islands and certain independence-craving wealthy libertarian-types who'd like to start their own countries or non-countries or whatever.