National Geographic : 2013 Jan
photos, clockwise from top left: BiBlioteca NacioNal de españa; olaf mokaNsky, duchess aNNa amalia liBrary, weimar, germaNy; BiBlioteca del semiNario arcivescovile di milaNo, veNegoNo iNferiore (va); liBrary of coNgress, geography & map divisioN. graphic: Álvaro valiño. source: william chadwick, Noaa NEXT Sea monsters splash (clockwise from top left) on the 1460 Madrid manuscript of Ptolemy’s Geographia, Mercator’s 1572 Europe map, Monte’s 1590 atlas, and Or- telius’s 1570 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Map Monsters what compelled cartographers to include leviathans, sirens, and sea dragons on maps of yore? “the motivation varied to some extent depending on the period,” says researcher chet van duzer, author of the upcoming Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps. early medieval period mapmakers, van duzer says, actually believed in the dangers they depicted. their illustrations were warnings. in the 16th century cartographic creatures were made increasingly whimsical in order to lure map buyers—the more marvelous the monster, the better. By the 17th century sea monsters were singing their swan song. increasing confidence on the high seas led car- tographers to make maps teeming with triumphant ships, with far fewer sirens in sight. — Sean Rameswaram 1. (d) easter island (109° 37' w) lies almost directly south of moab, utah (109° 75' w). the original polynesian settlers are thought to have reached the island more than 800 years ago, after travel- ing about 2,400 miles from the marquesas islands. 2. (c) sojourner arrived on the martian landscape on July 4, 1997, after a voyage of about 312 million miles aboard Nasa’s mars pathfinder. it was named for abolitionist sojourner truth, whose own voyage of discovery, on foot, in 1826, covered only 11 miles. But it took her from slavery to freedom. 3. (d) pytheas is thought to be the first to connect the tides with the phases of the moon. the extreme tidal changes in northern waters probably made the moon’s influence more apparent, especially after he’d seen the minimal tides of the mediterranean. 4. (a) “piranhas,” wrote theodore roosevelt, “are the most ferocious fish in the world... they will snap a finger off a hand incautiously trailed in the water... they will rend and devour any wounded man or beast.” in fact, piranhas generally do not bother people and should have been the least of roosevelt’s worries. on the expedition he would encounter dangerous rapids and deadly disease—but lived to recount his adventures in Through the Brazilian Wilderness. the river of doubt in Brazil is now called the rio roosevelt in his honor. 5. (B) the arctic tern takes the prize, with an average annual migration of almost 44,000 miles from its breeding grounds in greenland to the antarctic shore of the weddell sea and back again. on the return flight, the birds add hundreds of miles to their journey by looping out over the atlantic, rather than following a straight line, perhaps to take advantage of prevailing winds. 6. (c) paul mccartney—with the Beatles, wings, or solo—has awak- ened 12 shuttle crews, and he played “good day sunshine” live for the crew in 2005. also popular with shuttle crews: the Beach Boys (“i get around”), u2 (“Beautiful day”), and louis armstrong (“what a wonderful world”). dean martin was a hit on the final day of many flights when he sang, “goin’ back to houston.” ANSWERS FOR EXPLORERS QUIZ roughly 75% of earth’s volcanic activity is underwater.