National Geographic : 1896 Jul
MISCELLANEA and flint, and the Royal Society of London has sent out an expedition to examine and report upon the latter discovery, with a view to throwing light on the origin of the great African lakes. NORTH AMERICA BRITISH AMERICA. The government of Newfoundland is issuing bonds for the construction and equipment of a railway from a point on the Ex ploits river about 200 miles from Placentia Junction to Port-aux-Basques. AUSTRALASIA AUSTRALIA. An expedition left Adelaide on May 22 to explore the in terior of the island. Its return is not expected until late in 1897. POLAR REGIONS The steam-yacht Windward left London for Franz Josef Land on June 9 for the relief of the Jackson expedition. She carried a very large supply of provisions, a number of sledges, 5,000 tabloids of the essential proper ties of blood, and several thousand letters and packages. The Windward will call at Vardo to take on board coal, sheep, and reindeer, and she ex pects to communicate with the explorers at cape Flora, Franz Josef Land, on or about July 20. The return of the exploring party before 1897 is, however, very unlikely. MISCELLANEA THE SUEZ CANAL. The traffic through the Suez canal in 1895 comprised 3,434 ships, of 8,448,383 tons, with 216,938 passengers. Of the ships, 2,318 were British, 314 German, 278 French, 192 Dutch, 78 Italian, 72 Austrian, 57 Norwegian, 39 Russian, 36 Turkish, 33 Spanish, 5 American, 3 Portuguese, 2 Chinese, 2 Egyptian, 2 Japanese, 2 Swedish, and 1 Danish. Of the passengers, 118,639 were soldiers, 74,878 civilians, and 23,421 pil 'grims and emigrants. The total receipts were 78,426,000 francs, an in crease of 4,299,000 francs, gross, and of 3,172,000 francs, net, over those of 1894. The average duration of the transit was 16 hours 18 minutes, a reduction of 23 minutes from the average of the preceding year. DEEP-SEA SOUNDINGS. The British Admiralty has just issued its report of the deep-sea soundings conducted by ships of the royal navy in 1895. Commander A. F. Balfour, in the Penguin, while surveying in the South Pacific, found very deep water to the eastward of a line drawn between the Friendly and Kermadec islands. Soundings of 5,147 and 5,155 fath oms were obtained in latitude 280 44.4 / S., longitude 1760 04, W., and latitude 30' 27.7' S., longitude 1760 39, W., respectively. The deepest sounding ever before obtained was 4,655 fathoms, to the northeast of Japan. The new soundings are therefore deeper by about 3,000 feet than anything before discovered. A remarkable fact in connection with the new soundings is that these extraordinary depths are not far from land.