September 16, 2004

Man-made rainforest baffles scientists - A cloud forest biotope started by 19th Century dudes that should have taken thousands of years to reach its current state (according to accepted theory) now boggles the brains of eggheads because it only took 150 years.

It's on Ascension Island, which is a Holocene stratovolcano (try saying that three times fast when you're pissed). Here's a map of the island's location in the South Atlantic. Here's a lovely piccie of the bamboo thickets on Green Mountain summit mentioned in the article. Nice, eh? A few more pictures here which perhaps serve to illustrate the barrenness of the place when it was visited by Charles Darwin. Now off you go and rethink conventional ecological theory. I can't, the God ate my homework.

  • *an Holocene stratovolcano. Please forgive me that awful violation of the rules of writeryness. Apart from that, my post was a burster.
  • Very interesting, but phrases like "a mixed bag of botanical scrap brought in by the Royal Navy in 1843" are misleading, it seems pdf. The whole thing was shrewdly planned by Joseph Hooker (after his visit in 1843), drew on the vast resources and botanical expertise of Kew Gardens, and involved the gradual assembly of carefully selected organisms (birds and insects as well as plants) over a period of many years. It doesn't seem to me to have much to do with evolution or with ecological fitting - more an example of Intelligent Design, really... No less remarkable for that, though.
  • It's most encouraging to see this kind of growth happening in so short a time. Hip hip hurray for the Royal Navy! And for Kew Gardens! Really most impressive. Thanks, Nostril!
  • It's a botanist's life in the Royal Navy.
  • Wow, what a gem of a find! I'm desperate to go there now. Talk about being off the beaten path, this is perfect! This as well as the webcam are going into my favorites. Thanks for sharing, Nostril!
  • It's really something other than else!
  • Great post, Nostril. Thanks.
  • This is very cool. thanks Nostril.
  • I have a sudden crush on Joseph Hooker (and it's not just the name). Too bad about that new Cali law. This has always been my dream - to get hold of some large chunk of barren or used-up land and start planting. Then watch as nature takes its course. Not where I'm actually headed in life, but should I ever win the lottery...
  • The webcam for Ascension shows us the pure natural beauty of the island.
  • Actually, Argh, I'm waiting for some monstrous storm to engulf the island while I watch. I tried to do that with Florida.....but it didn't work.
  • you have to make a human sacrifice for that to work, Darsh.
  • Ah....Good to know.
  • I'm waiting for some monstrous storm to engulf the island while I watch. I tried to do that with Florida.....but it didn't work. Check your TV guide.