Where, In the World (Are These Random Places?) – 英会話・英語 アミック
At Amic’s Ishii location, there is a large and fantastically-detailed map covering the front wall of the lobby. As a lifelong map lover, I can easily spend way too much time walking back and forth, exploring the map for new cities, mountain ranges, and islands I have never heard of.
Sometimes I like to look these places up on Wikipedia and Wikitravel just to see what comes up. Other times I do similar random exploration just by zooming in on random places in Google Maps; here are three of my recent “discoveries”:
South Georgia Island: Situated in the South Atlantic about 1000 miles/1600 kilometers east of the Falkland Islands, this British overseas territory has snow cover eight months out of the year. Only about 20 people live there, outnumbered drastically by the literal millions of penguins, reindeer, seals, albatross, and countless other animal species that call the island home. Until recently the island also had a major rat problem, but after a mass extermination effort that involved dropping poisonous bait from helicopters, scientists say the island is once again rodent-free.
Ushakovskoye: A now-deserted settlement on Russia’s Wrangel Island in the far north east of the country, just a few hundred miles from Alaska. The settlement was established in 1920s by the Soviets essentially to keep Britain and America from doing the same. Despite having temperatures that rarely get above freezing, the settlement grew to have electricity, an airport, and even a museum of natural history. Eventually the settlement stopped being subsidized and most residents moved back to the mainland, save for the town’s final resident, who was killed by a polar bear in 2003.
Mount Nyiragongo: Resting on the Rwanda-Democratic Republic of the Congo border is conical volcano Mount Nyiragongo. Its main crater spans over 2km wide and within lies a lava lake that volcanologists think might be the deepest in recent history. Extremely active, the volcano’s lava flows can reach speeds up to 100kmh/60mph and in 2002 it erupted so powerfully that it caused a series of earthquakes in the area that continued off and on for three months.