Have you ever heard of the Northern Lights – the Aurora Borealis? This name, given by Italian astronomer Galileu Galilei in 1619, refers to Aurora – the Roman goddess of the dawn – and Boreas – the Greek god of the northern winds – and is a good reflection of the spectacle that occurs in the nocturnal sky of the Polar region. The phenomenon, caused by the impact of particles of the solar wind on the high atmosphere of our planet, and channeled by the Earth’s magnetic field, is a fantastic show of natural lights and colors.
Navel of the World (Te Pito O Te Henua), Big island (Rapa Nui), and Eyes Fixed on the Sky (Mata Ki Te Rangi), are some of the main names given to one of the most paradisiacal places on the planet: Easter Island. Situated in the south of the Pacific Ocean, it is an island of East Polynesia belonging to Chile, on South America’s last frontier, and very important for its moai. Although you have probably never heard this name, it’s almost impossible that you have never seen what it represents: huge stone statues of torsos and faces shown in films and cartoons, as can be seen in the photo in this text.
One of the major civilizations in the history of the world, the Maya stand out since the pre-classic period (1000 B.C. to 250 B.C.), no doubt because of their written language, besides their art, architecture, mathematics, and their astronomical systems. Thousands of years have gone by, but the proofs of their civilization remain, especially on the archeological site of Palenque, a medium-sized structure that takes the name of the town situated in Chiapas, a Mexican state bathed by the Usumacinta River. Historians believe that the place was an important Maya capital. Surrounded by jungle, the site shelters the wealth of Maya art from the Classic Era (200 to 900 A.D.), considered the most beautiful and sophisticated of the ancient New World.
Extremely beautiful, but with expressively numerical characteristics, it’s difficult to describe the Atacama Desert, in Chile, without mentioning its impressive attributes, way beyond its incredible salt flats, valleys, volcanoes, geysers, lagoons and canyons with crystal-clear waters. Therefore, don’t get lost in numbers: it’s at an altitude of 4000 meters in a beautiful highland in the Andes, holding the title of the highest desert in the world, crossing the northern part of the country up to the frontier with Peru, extending for 1000 kilometers. Speaking of titles, the Atacama is the driest non-Polar desert in the world.
Considering the arrival of Spain at the estuary of the La Plata River in 1516, and the foundation of what today is called Argentina only 16 years after the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil, it’s hard to think that a town can be almost the same age as the person who wrote this text and the person who is reading it. It is El Chatlén, the “youngest” city in Argentina, with a history that began in 1985, and was founded exclusively to maintain Argentina’s sovereignty over the territories disputed with Chile on the Patagonian frontier. Another curious fact is that the town has fewer inhabitants than the district where you live: in the winter, there are fewer than 500 people in the cold town.