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Virtual Island Hopping: How to Explore New Islands from the Comfort of Your Home Through Reading

Updated: 5 days ago

Readers at the Young Readers' Club show you how to do just that.

Accidental discoveries of lands do not happen only in the oceans as brave explorers set out on their ships to discover the whole world. They happen even in classrooms if there is ample room for curiosity and enquiry!

Readers at the Young Readers' Club stumbled upon "South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands" somewhere, while playing a game. The questions, "Why would islands have such a name? Where is it located?" set them on path of enquiry and then there was no turning back.

"Could they be named this way because they are shaped like sandwich?"

"Or maybe they grow vegetables there that are ingredients for a sandwich."

"Maybe the person who invented the concept of sandwich also discovered this island."

"They must be located in the south, since the name has south in it."

(The islands are located in the south. To be more specific close to Antarctica and South America. Click here to see it on the map)

"Georgia is a place in the U.S. Could it be a connection to this place from the times when the U.S was under British Colonial rule?"


Further reading revealed more fascinating facts.

These islands are a part of Britain. South Georgia Island was named that way to honour King George III and South Sandwich Islands was named to honor John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich. Sandwich turned out to be the name of a town in Britain.

One reader discovered that these islands are inhabitable.

"Why is that?"

"Mountains and glaciers everywhere."

"It was discovered by James Cook in 1775. Oh here is a quote from his manuscript- 'But the island was “savage. Pieces were continually breaking off, and floating out to sea; and a great fall happened while we were in the bay, which made a noise like a cannon. The inner parts of the country were not less savage and horrible.' Cook began mapping the coastline, but did not bring the ship into the island due to the dangerous conditions.

"Look, Cape of 'Disappointment' ?"

A quick search told us that James Cook first thought that he had discovered Antarctica. But then later discovered that that wasn't the case. Hence the name Cape Disappointment!

James Cook

"How did they know that Antarctica existed and needs to discovered?" (Yet to find a satisfactory answer, needs a little more patience and research)

"Did they have satellite technology? When did satellite technology come into existence?

The answer was found to be 1957.

"That means in 1775, they did not have this technology, how did they know?"(Yet to find a satisfactory answer, needs a little more patience and research)

"Antarctica has penguins. Do these islands have penguins too?"

Turns out they do. If you would like to see, here is something interesting- Penguins of South Sandwich Islands

The rate at which questions went up on the whiteboard was faster than our abilities to read and fill the information blanks! We managed to find answers to some of our questions. Others are waiting to be found! Did we make you curious? Do you have questions? Do you have answers to our unsolved questions? Do let us know in comments. Happy reading!


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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club for the 8-12 age group.

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The Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.

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