Charles Darwin is best known for On the Origin of Species, his book that laid out his theory of evolution, which was primarily inspired by his voyage on the HMS Beagle. People the world over have sought to honor his contribution to humanity’s scientific understanding, so you’ll find places named in his honor at every corner of the globe. Here are five beautiful places named after this vitally important contributor to modern science.
Darwin Island – Galapagos Islands
If you want to be specific about Darwin’s theory of evolution, it was the Galapagos Islands that really solidified the idea. That makes it perfectly natural that one of the islands would be named for him. Darwin Island, also known as Isla Darwinia, gets a bit of a geological bonus too, with a rock feature known as Darwin’s Arch. It’s a stone arch located a little ways off to the southeast of Darwin Island and has become one of the iconic features of the Galapagos, along with the finches and tortoises.
Mount Darwin – California
Craggy, stoney, and barren, Mount Darwin is one of the flat-top mountains of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Kings County National Park in California. It’s one of those rare examples when being devoid of vegetation actually enhances a location’s beauty. There’s a glacier on the mountain as well, also named for Darwin, which brings some icy contrast to the ascent. You can hike it, if you want, but just know that it’s going to be one of the more difficult climbs you do, crampons or not.
Mount Darwin – Tasmania
Another mountain named for Darwin, this one is a few thousand miles away in Tasmania. It’s shorter and greener than its counterpart, and has more in the way of evidence of human habitation. There’s an abandoned town, also called Darwin, and unused mines dot the mountain. Most famously, the mountain also inspired the name for Darwin Glass, the grey-green product of a meteor impact on Mount Darwin. Some of the mines popped up as part of the effort to collect the glass, but didn’t seem to last too long.
Darwin – Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands lie almost past the tip of South America, and, as you may or may not know, are now their own independent country, a rare example of colonial settlement of a completely uninhabited land. Darwin is one of the settlements on the island and was named for the time Darwin spent in the area during his world travels. Its population has fluctuated, from the hundreds down to the single digits, hovering somewhere around 7 permanent inhabitants today. The fluctuation mostly follows the success of the sheep farm in the settlement and the population drop wasn’t because the farm failed. It was actually because the farm was so successful it had to be moved to nearby Goose Green, and most of the people went with it.