The end of South America: Tierra del Fuego
Speaking of the end of the world, the first thing I have to mention is the famous Tierra del Fuego. It is located at the southernmost tip of South America, covering an area of about 48,700 square kilometers. It is separated from the continent of South America by the Strait of Magellan, and is the southernmost land in the world except Antarctica. In 1881, Chile and Argentina demarcated the border, with Argentina in the east and Chile in the west.
It has been isolated from the world for thousands of years, and it was not discovered by modern civilization until 1520 because of Magellan. It is said that when Magellan had not yet landed on the island, he saw a bonfire by the local indigenous people from a distance, and named it Tierra del Fuego. However, Tierra del Fuego does not actually have fires. On the contrary, it is close to the Andes Mountains and is covered with snow all year round.
The most famous thing about Tierra del Fuego is the identity of the end of the world, as well as a lonely and persistent beacon. This lighthouse is located in the port of Ushuaia, the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego. It belongs to Argentina and is only 800 kilometers from the northernmost tip of Antarctica.
The silent existence of this lighthouse marks the end of the land of human civilization and makes it the ultimate place that represents the distance, the end, the poetry and the guardianship. Verne once wrote “The Lighthouse at the End of the World” for it, telling the touching story of how an old sailor swears to defend this place and the spiritual light of mankind.
Tierra del Fuego is located on the edge of the world. Except for the Port of Ushuaia, few people live in other areas, but it has a variety of rich and rare species and is a paradise for animals. First of all, here is the habitat of southern rock hopping penguins. The southern rock hopping penguins here account for 10% of the total number of penguins in the world. Don’t be too surprised if you see groups of penguins here.
It is also home to seabirds, including South American terns, royal cormorants, South American ducks, red-headed gulls, Chilean skuas and so on.
In addition, they also include Peruvian otters, Ecuadorian jackals, and South American camels, as well as rare birds such as Tierra del Fuego night herons, cracks, black woodpeckers, Tierra del Fuego short-eared owls and Andean eagles.
Tierra del Fuego is also home to one of the most spectacular marine ecosystems on earth: kelp forest. The kelp pillar can extend from a depth of 45 meters below the sea surface to the sea surface, and sometimes can grow half a meter in a day. These macroalgae will continue to grow and form a canopy after they reach the sea surface. The sunlight that enters the sea through the canopy is as beautiful as the light refracted through stained glass in the cathedral.
For humans, this place may be desolate and full of philosophies at the end of the world, but for many “earth residents”, it is a beautiful paradise where they stay together.
The End of Eurasia: The End of the Sea in Portugal
Is the end of the world necessarily the ultimate natural realm? Not necessarily. For example, Portugal, as a modern country, we certainly will not associate it with the end of the world, but we must know that Portugal, as the last stop on the west of the European continent, has been the “end of the world” for the European people for thousands of years.
Portugal has three end-of-the-world capes, of which Cabo Roca is the most famous. Cape Roca is known as the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and Cape Horn in Chile. It is about 30 kilometers away from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and is recognized as one of the world’s 50 most visited destinations.
Someone described Cape Roca like this: “Portugal is like a moored ship on the edge of the European continent, and Cape Roca is its beautiful porthole.” Europeans who have looked at the distance for thousands of years, finally 500 years ago From here, we will start the era of great navigation and become the greatest expedition in human history.
On the cross of the cape, there is a famous poem by Cammons, who is known as the soul of Portuguese poetry: “The land ends here, and the sea starts from here”. Here, not only the Portuguese or Europeans, but also the corners of the human world. 500 years later, we have not only completed the journey of exploring the entire earth, but also marched towards the universe, but in any case, we will not forget that the origin of every explorer is this great Cape Roca.
In addition to Cape Roca, Cape Saint Vincent in Sagres, the southwestern tip of Portugal, is also a good place to feel the end of the world.
Speaking of its status, we must first go back to 1415. This year, 21-year-old Portuguese Prince Enrique was named a knight and served as the head of the Catholic Knights and the governor of the Algarve province. Prince Enrique opened a sailing school in Cape St. Vincent of Sagres, built an observatory, research institute and other facilities, and hired navigators and various sailing-related experts and scholars Luo Zhimen. Since then, Cape St. Vincent has become the headquarters of the Great Navigation. The ruins can still be seen here.
After the great nautical era, Cape Saint Vincent is now the end of the European Coastal Highway E9. The continent of Europe extends southwest to here, reaching the end of the world. The magnificent lighthouse on the cliff was built in the 15th century and was later destroyed by an earthquake. It was rebuilt in 1846. It is the second most powerful lighthouse in Europe. With two spotlights, it can shine 60 kilometers away. It still illuminates the front for people.
The end of the northern world: Longyearbyen, Norway
Longyearbyen, at 78°13′ north latitude, is known as the northernmost city in the world, with about 1,800 residents. This town is most famous not because of the end of the world, but because of the “prohibition of death” law. As early as 70 years ago, the cemetery in the town stopped “accepting new visitors.” Except for sudden death, both the patient and the elderly must leave Longyearbyen and go to other Norwegian hospitals for treatment or retirement. Childbirth is also prohibited, and pregnant women must leave here one month before giving birth. All these regulations are because the body cannot rot here.
The annual average temperature here is -7℃, the lowest temperature is -40℃～-50℃, 90% of the area is covered by glaciers.
You may want to ask, why do people choose to live at the end of this world? Perhaps it is because the beautiful aurora can be seen almost every day; perhaps because these magnificent glaciers make people forget the cold, leaving only admiration for the world; or perhaps because these lovely creatures have awakened a certain frozen Heart, willing to serve them for the rest of my life.
The journey to the end of the world ends here. You may ask why there is no east end of the world? Because the east is where the sun rises.
What is the meaning of the end? Is it to always look into the distance? not only that. Each end extends the meaning and possibility of human existence. When we explore the end, it is not for a borderless earth, but for a world without borders, a world full of watch, courage and love.