Australian science agency the CSIRO reports that its research ship, the RV Investigator is off to spend the southern summer in the middle of nowhere – or more precisely the Australian sub-Antarctic territory of Heard and McDonald Islands.
The base so remote hardly anyone ever visits, and no one lives there.
Over the next few months the CSIRO will show what it’s like to get there through the Southern Ocean, one of the roughest in the world.
The islands lie about two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica. Overall they cover 372 square kilometres with 101.9 kilometers of coastline.
They were discovered in the mid-19th century and have been territories of Australia since 1947.
They are home to two active volcanoes in Australian territory. The summit of one, Mawson Peak, is higher than any mountain on the Australian mainland. The islands lie on the Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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