Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bizarro Portland

The Patagonian Toothfish

Tonight at dinner, one of the boys wondered where we would be if we were in the exact opposite of Portland, Oregon. We had guessed that it might be somewhere near South Africa, maybe even Madagascar. So we got the globe and found that 45 degrees S, 51 degrees E put us in the middle of the Southern Indian Ocean. Luckily there was an island in the general vicinity called Crozet and the little (Fr.) next to the name told me it was French!

How exciting! We googled.

Crozet Island is seriously in the middle of nowhere, but it's claimed by France for crying out loud. Naturally, I pictured rugged beauty set off by 5 star resorts and fine dining. Instead, I found that Crozet Island has 300 days of rain a year and that it is so windy no trees can grow. (Winds exceed 60 mph over 100 days a year.) There are no inhabitants of Crozet Island other than a few researchers and scientists. But, it has the largest bird population of any place on earth.

Even though it's remote, fur trappers and fishermen found their way to Crozet. It is said Sealers could kill up to 60 seals an hour and the fisherman's overfishing seriously threatened the Patagonian Toothfish (pictured above.)

I am a little disappointed that the global opposite of Portland isn't a bit more exciting.

That the fish are so ugly is just insult to injury.


Melissa said...

I have been reading your blog for a little while now and I really like it. I especially like this post. What a great idea and funny.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

Natalie said...

Okay, now I have to go find OUR opposite location. Thanks for the idea!

Angela!! said...

can you tell me my opposite location? I'm too lazy to figure it out but i'm really curious.