National Geographic : 1897 Sep
258 THE UNMAPPED AREAS ON THE EARTH'S SURFACE Africa by a gradual process of migration: Transplant southern Europeans to north Africa; after a generation or two remove their progeny further south, and so on, edging the succeeding genera tion further and further into the heart of the continent. The ex periment-a long one it would be-might be tried; but it is to be feared that the ultimate result would be a race deprived of all those characteristics which have made Europe what it is. HIDDEN ENEMIES An able young Italian physician, Dr Sambon, has recently faced this important problem, and has not hesitated to come to conclusions quite opposed to those generally accepted. His posi tion is that it has taken us centuries in Europe to discover our hidden enemies, the microbes of the various diseases to which northern humanity is a prey, and to meet them and conquer them. In Africa we have a totally different set of enemies to meet, from lions and snakes down to the invisible organisms that produce those forms of malaria, anemia, and other diseases characteristic of tropical countries. He admits that these are more or less due to heat, to the nature of the soil, and other trop ical conditions, but that if once we knew their precise nature and modes of working we should be in a position to meet them and conquer them. It may be so, but this is a result that could only be reached after generations of experience and investigation, and even Dr Sambon admits that the ultimate product of European acclimatization in Africa would be something quite different from the European progenitors. What is wanted is a series of care fully conducted experiments. I have referred to the Blantyre highlands. In British East Africa there are plateaus of much greater altitude, and in other parts of Central Africa there are large areas of 4.000 feet and over above sea level. The world may become so full that we may be forced to try to utilize these lofty tropical regions as homes for white people when Canada and Australia and the United States become over populated. As one of my predecessors in this chair (Mr Ravenstein) tried to show at the Leeds meeting some years ago, the population of the world will have more than doubled in a century, and about 180 years hence will have quadrupled. At any rate, here is a problem of prime importance for the geog rapher of the coming century to attack. With so many ener getic and intelligent white men all over Africa, it should not be difficult to obtain the data which might help toward its solution.