The World’s Southernmost City

The southern part of South America is fractured into a number of small islands collectively known as Tierra del Fuego. Located roughly between 52° and 55° latitudes, these islands constitute some of the most distant landmasses on earth measured from the equator.

The region is sparsely populated, but there are two major population centers here—Ushuaia and Río Grande—both located on Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, the largest island of the archipelago. This island is shared by Argentina and Chile, and while the Chilean part is geographically larger, the Argentinean side is more populous. Both Ushuaia and Río Grande are similarly sized, but Ushuaia is located further south, a position that has allowed it to claim the title of the “southernmost city in the world,” although it is not the only town who claims so.

world's southermost cities

Ushuaia is the administrative capital of Tierra del Fuego, an industrial port and a tourist hub. Almost all tourist trips to Antarctica start from here. People from all over the world fly in to Ushuaia, disembark and immediately proceed to board one of the cruise ships that line the dock, for the voyage south. Few actually stop to explore the city.

Ushuaia has a sizable population of 71,000 and the infrastructure to call itself a city. There is a settlement called Puerto Williams further south, but it has a population of only 2,800. Puerto Williams is the capital of the Chilean Antarctic Province, and it too claims the title of world’s southernmost city. But because of the town’s small size and population, that claim is not taken too seriously.

southermost city Ushuaia


Ushuaia’s claim is challenged by Punta Arenas, the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. Punta Arenas is among the largest cities in the entire Patagonian Region with a population of 127,000, as of 2012. The city is located north of Ushuaia, but Chilean authorities claim that Punta Arenas is a truer city than Ushuaia being vastly larger than Ushuaia both in population and area. Ushuaia is only 23 square kilometers, while Punta Arenas is more than seventeen thousand square kilometers. This makes Punta Arenas a strong candidate to the title of the “world’s southernmost city”.

southermost city Punta Arenas


If size is not a criteria, than Puerto Toro is the world’s southernmost settlement having a permanent population of 36—mostly fishermen and their families. It is the only such community on Earth that is situated below the 55th parallel south. It is also the only Chilean locality and port with coasts and waters belonging to the Atlantic Ocean.

Puerto Toro was founded in 1892 during the Tierra del Fuego Gold Rush and was once one of the most important towns in the region. Once the gold prospect diminished, people moved out and Puerto Toro became a small hamlet.

southermost city Puerto Toro


National Geographic Magic

Sheep in Serbia transported to the market in the backseat.

Skydiving over the Pyramids.



Monument Valley Utah

Tarpon feeding


At first glance it looks like San Francisco, but it really is Vancouver, British Columbia.

Coming in to land in Ecuador

Newborn calf in Nebraska

Wave Rock Australia

Crni Kal Viaduct Slovenia

Appears to be a glacier. It’s actually sand dunes in China.

Buddha cave in Myanmar

Bruarfoss Falls Iceland

Tokyo apartments

Wyoming badlands

Covering of snow in the Grand Canyon

Is Canadian province of Saskatchewan named after Sasquatches?

Saskatchewan not named after sasquatches, residents insist


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Saskatchewanians are eager to correct the record after an NBA announcer insisted this winter that their province is named for its abundance of sasquatches.

The Fox Sports announcer made the comment while pointing out that Utah Jazz forward Trey Lyles is the first person from the province to play in the NBA.

“That region’s known for being home to a lot of sasquatches,” the announcer said, adding, “that’s what it’s named after.”

For the record, Saskatchewan comes from a Cree word for “swift flowing river.”

And as Manitoba sasquatch expert Chris Rutkowski points out, there are far fewer bigfoot sightings in the Land of the Living Skies than other regions like the Pacific Northwest.

Washington has had the most of any state or province, with 617, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Association. British Columbia has had the most in Canada, 130. Saskatchewan has had a mere seven.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall laughed when he heard the news. “We might have more Elvis sightings,” he said.

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere also found it amusing, but saw an upside: “Now we’re going have a bunch of people that are going to come here wanting to see the sasquatch.”

Saskatchewan Tourism’s Aviva Kohen seemed more annoyed by the other things the Fox Sports announcer rattled off about her province, including that it’s cold and flat.

“That’s a myth I run into quite a bit in marketing and a myth I try to dispel.”


Sasquatch sightings in Canada



State # of
Alaska 22 1-2014 1-2013
Alabama 98 3-2016 7-2016
Arkansas 104 5-2019 11-2018
Arizona 84 10-2017 6-2016
California 441 4-2019 11-2018
Colorado 124 10-2018 8-2018
Connecticut 17 6-2019 11-2018
Delaware 5 9-2013 11-2012
Florida 325 4-2019 11-2018
Georgia 132 8-2017 1-2017
Iowa 76 4-2018 6-2018
Idaho 87 12-2018 11-2018
Illinois 298 4-2018 9-2017
Indiana 78 11-2015 8-2015
Kansas 46 3-2019 8-2017
Kentucky 113 1-2019 10-2018
Louisiana 43 8-2017 1-2017
Massachusetts 35 3-2018 10-2017
Maryland 35 11-2015 5-2014
Maine 17 12-2017 2-2017
Michigan 219 5-2019 6-2018
Minnesota 73 8-2018 7-2018
Missouri 148 6-2019 4-2018
Mississippi 23 4-2013 2-2013
State # of
Montana 47 1-2019 5-2016
North Carolina 97 4-2019 10-2015
North Dakota 6 12-2010 8-2005
Nebraska 15 1-2019 5-2018
New Hampshire 16 10-2017 7-2016
New Jersey 70 4-2018 6-2053
New Mexico 42 3-2014 10-2013
Nevada 9 4-2009 2-2005
New York 109 5-2019 8-2018
Ohio 290 2-2019 4-2018
Oklahoma 99 5-2019 10-2018
Oregon 250 12-2018 6-2018
Pennsylvania 118 6-2019 3-2018
Rhode Island 5 12-2011 11-2011
South Carolina 52 1-2014 2-2012
South Dakota 17 8-2011 6-2008
Tennessee 100 5-2019 8-2018
Texas 238 5-2019 2-2018
Utah 70 7-2016 7-2009
Virginia 78 4-2019 4-2019
Vermont 9 10-2017 12-2016
Washington 666 6-2019 12-2018
Wisconsin 99 1-2019 7-2018
West Virginia 102 2-2019 7-2017
Wyoming 28 5-2010 3-2010

Sea Stack formations along the Pacific coast

A strange geological formation occurs along the Pacific coast of the northwest United States.  They are found especially along the Washington and Oregon coasts.  Islands that pop out of the ocean and are particularly tall.  They make for picturesque scenery.

Sea stacks are found around the world.  A different type of stack is the Flower Pot Rocks along the coast of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.

A stack is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, isolated by erosion.  Stacks are formed through processes of coastal geomorphology, which are entirely natural. Time, wind and water are the only factors involved in the formation of a stack.  They are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action, which is the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland, causing them to later collapse, forming free-standing stacks and even a small island.












Flower Pot Rocks in New Brunswick

Sherpa climbs Everest twice in a week, setting record 24 ascents


Kami Rita Sherpa pictured at the top during his 23rd summit

A Nepalese Sherpa has set a new Mount Everest record, making it to the top for the 24th time – with his second summit in only seven days.

Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, successfully scaled the world’s tallest mountain on Tuesday morning.

It was his second record in seven days, having reached the summit for the 23rd time on 15 May.

He says he has no plans to retire, and hopes to clock up more ascents in the years to come.

“I can climb for a few more years,” he told the BBC before the 23rd attempt one week ago. “I am healthy – I can keep going until I am 60 years old. With oxygen it’s no big deal.”

He first climbed Everest in 1994 and is a guide for international companies that organise climbing expeditions.

“I never thought about making records,” he said. “I actually never knew that you could make a record. Had I known, I would have made a lot more summits earlier.”

Foreign mountaineers usually climb Everest with the help of experienced Sherpas who work as guides preparing the route, fixing ropes and carrying supplies and oxygen.


“Sherpas fix ropes all the way to the top,” Kami Rita explained. “So the Sherpas make their way fixing the ropes and the foreigners give interviews saying Everest is easier, or talk about their courage.

“But they forget the contribution of the Sherpa. Sherpas have struggled a lot to make it happen. We suffer.”

He added: “In every mountain there is a goddess. It’s our responsibly to keep the goddess happy. Months before I start an ascent I start worshipping and ask for forgiveness because I will have to put my feet on her body.”


On the list of the highest number of Everest ascents, Kami Rita Sherpa is trailed by three climbers who all have 21 successful ascents each.

Two of them have retired from mountaineering, while the third, 39-year old Ngima Nuru Sherpa, is attempting his 22nd summit from the Chinese side of the mountain this season.

Funny place names of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland

There are many funny place names in Canada.  Flin Flon, Optic Lake and Wampum in Manitoba; Hungerford, Pain Court and Zigzag in Ontario; Aachikaayusaakaasich Portage in Quebec, Blubber Bay in B.C., Dead Man’s Flats in Alberta, Nuttby in Nova Scotia, Poodles Corner in P.E.I. and Snafu Creek in the Yukon Territory.

But the two provinces in Canada with the nuttiest names has to be Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.  As the lists below demonstrate.




Amsterdam –  Antelope – Baldwinton –  Big Beaver –  Biggar –  Blumenheim – B-Say-Tah – Buffalo Narrows  – Cadillac –  Candle Lake – Carrot River  – Ceylon – Chicken – Choiceland – Climax – Congress –  Cut Knife – Druid-  Earl Grey –  Ebenezer – Edelman Lake –  Elbow –  Endeavour –  Eyebrow  – Foam Lake  – Frontier –  Grandmother’s Bay –  Grizzly Bear’s Head & The Lean Man –  Hague –  Hitchcock –  Holdfast –  Hoosier –  Imperial –  Knee Lake –  Liberty –  Limerick –  Lipton –  Little Bone –  Loon Lake –  Love –  Lucky Lake –  Lucky Man –  Major –  Mantario- Milestone –  Moose Jaw –  Mozart –  Old Wives Lake –  Onion Lake –  Oxbow –  Pennant –  Piapot –  Poor Man –  Porcupine Plain –  Quill Lake –  Revenue –  Reward –  Sanctuary –  Semans –  Smuts –  Spy Hill –  Stockholm –  Swift Current –  Uranium City –  Urin – Xena –  Yellow Grass –  Zip Lake



Ass Hill –  Ass Rock –  Back Cove –  Bacon Cove –  Badger –  Bar Haven –  Bareneed –  Bay Bulls –  Billy Butts Pond –  Blow Me Down –  Bottle Cove –  Butter Cove –  Cape Onion –  Catalina –  Change Islands –  Chapel Arm –  Coffee Cove –  Come-By-Chance –  Comfort Cove –  Conception Bay –  Cow Head –  Cupids –  Curling –  Deadman’s Bay –  Deadman’s Cove –  Diamond Cove –  Dildo –  Exploits River –  Ferryland –  Fleur de Lys –  Flowers Cove –  Fortune –  Fox Roost –  Foxtrap –  Frenchman’s Cove –  Funk Lake –  Furby’s Cove –  Gander –  Gin Cove –  Goblin –  Goobies –  Halfway Point –  Happy Adventure –  Happy Valley – Goose Bay –  Hare Bay –  Hatchet Cove –  Hearts Content –  Hearts Delight –  Heart’s Desire –  Jerrys Nose –  Lawn –  Leading Tickles West –  Little Seldom –  Low Point –  Mosquito –  Mouse Island –  Nameless Cove –  New World Island –  Nippers Harbour –  Noggin Cove –  Old Man’s Head –  Old Room –  Paradise –  Pasadena –  Penetanguishene –  Petty Harbour –  Poor Boy Island –  Quidi Vidi Harbour –  Red Indian Lake –  River of Ponds –  Salvage –  Seldom –  Small Point –  St. Jones Within –  St. Jones Without –  Stag Harbour –  Tickle Cove –  Toogood Arm –  Virgin Arm –  Wild Bight –  Wreck Cove

Just for the record, I forgot Skookumchuck in B.C. and Whycocomagh in Nova Scotia.

Lakes Among Sand Dunes in Brazil


The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil, is one of the most marvelous and unique places in the world. An area encompassing about 1000 square kilometers of white silky sands intercepted at regular intervals by endless cool oases of turquoise lakes.

At first glance Lençóis Maranhenses looks like an archetypal desert. In fact it isn’t actually a desert just like the Tottori Sand Dunes aren’t. Lying just outside the Amazon basin, the region is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The rain water accumulates in the valleys in between sand dunes and forms clear blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between July and September. The area is also surprisingly home to a variety of fish which, despite the almost complete disappearance of the lagoons during the dry season, have their eggs brought from the sea by birds. Mangroves, deserted beaches, buritis – a graceful kind of palm tree – and the Preguiças River help compose the park’s diversity.



Lençóis Maranhenses has been formed over thousands of years, as the sand from riverbeds is deposited at the mouth of the rivers and brought back to the continent by winds and sea currents.

The dunes advance as far as 31 miles into the continent and stretch along 27 miles of coastline, mostly deserted beaches. Some of the lagoons at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park are huge. Lagoa Bonita and Lagoa Azul are near the town of Barreirinhas. Lagoa Tropical, also worth a visit, is closer to the village of Atins. Lagoa da Gaivota (Seagull Lagoon), one of the park’s largest and most beautiful, is near Santo Amaro do Maranhão, a village located about 60 miles from Barreirinhas.



The best time to visit the park is roughly from May to September, when it’s sunny, yet the lagoons are still full.