This video is about Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile, in the Pacific Ocean.
From World Science:
“Real” Crusoe’s isle said to yield clues to sojourn
Oct. 30, 2008
Courtesy Maney Publishing and World Science staff
Cast away on a desert island, surviving on what nature alone can provide, praying for rescue but fearing the sight of an enemy boat. These are the imaginative creations of Daniel Defoe in his famous novel Robinson Crusoe.
Yet the story is thought to be based on the real experience of sailor Alexander Selkirk, marooned in 1704 on a small tropical island in the Pacific for more than four years.
New clues support contemporary records of his stay on that island, archaeologists say. A paper in the research journal Post-Medieval Archaeology describes evidence of an “early European occupant” from a dig on the island of Aguas Buenas, since renamed Robinson Crusoe Island.
The foremost evidence is a pair of navigational dividers which could only have belonged to a ship’s master or navigator, as evidence suggests Selkirk was, researchers said.
An account by Selkirk’s rescuer, Captain Woodes Rogers, of what he saw on arrival at Aguas Buenas in 1709 lists ‘some practical pieces’ and mathematical instruments amongst the few possessions that Selkirk had taken with him from the ship.
The finds also provide an insight into how Selkirk might have lived on the island, investigators added. Postholes suggest he built two shelters near to a freshwater stream, and had access to a viewpoint over the harbour from where he would be able to watch for approaching ships and discern whether they were friend or foe.
Accounts written shortly after the rescue describe him shooting goats with a gun rescued from the ship, and eventually learning to outrun them, eating their meat and using their skins as clothing. He also passed time reading the Bible and singing psalms, and seems to have enjoyed a more peaceful and devout existence than at any other time in his life, according to researchers.
“The evidence uncovered at Aguas Buenas corroborates the stories of Alexander Selkirk’s stay on the island and provides a fascinating insight into his existence there,” said David Caldwell of National Museums Scotland, one of the researchers. “We hope that Aguas Buenas, with careful management, may be a site enjoyed by the increasing number of tourists.”
Selkirk was born in the small seaside town of Lower Largo, Fife, Scotland in 1676. A younger son of a shoemaker, he was drawn to a life at sea from an early age. In 1704, during a privateering voyage on the Cinque Ports, Selkirk fell out with the commander over the boat’s seaworthiness and chose to remain behind on Robinson Crusoe Island where they had landed to overhaul the worm-infested vessel. He apparently didn’t suspect five years would pass before he was picked up by an English ship visiting the island.
Published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is one of the most famous adventure stories in English literature. Whilst it is unclear whether Defoe and Selkirk actually met, Defoe would certainly have heard the stories of Selkirk’s adventure and used the tales as the basis for his novel, according to Caldwell and colleagues.
Conservationists call for drastic action to rescue the Juan Fernández archipelago’s biodiversity from alien invaders: here.
Alejandro Selkirk island marine life: here.
Chile Creates Large Marine Reserve at Sala y Gómez Island: here.
Last week was a fantastic week for the oceans. Chile’s president announced the creation of a marine reserve around Sala y Gómez Island in the Pacific Ocean that will protect a biodiverse marine habitat larger than Montana: here.