This Island fascinates me, for many reasons.
It is located literally in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between the continents of South America and Africa. 7.9333° S, 14.3667° W
A little history on the island -
Just over two hundred years ago Ascension was a barren volcanic Island. Charles Darwin visited in 1836 and described it as an 'arid treeless
In 1843, botanist and explorer Joseph Hooker visited the island. Four years later, Hooker, with much encouragement from Darwin, advised the Royal Navy
that with the help of Kew Gardens, they should institute a long-term plan of shipping trees to Ascension. The planted trees would capture more rain
and improve the soil, allowing the barren island to become a garden. So, from 1850 and continuing year on year, ships came each depositing a varied
assortment of plants from botanical gardens in Argentina, Europe and South Africa. By the late 1870s Norfolk pines, eucalyptus, bamboo, and banana
trees grew in lush profusion at the highest point of the island, Green Mountain, creating a tropical cloud forest
A new Island was born -
The view from Green Mountain
The plan worked perfectly. The idea was breathtakingly simple. Trees would capture more rain, reduce evaporation and create rich, loamy soils. The
“cinder” would become a garden.
Soon, on the highest peak at 859m (2,817ft), great changes were afoot. By the late 1870s, eucalyptus, Norfolk Island pine, bamboo, and banana had all
Back in England, Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution were busily uprooting the Garden of Eden.
But on a green hill far away, a new “island Eden” was being created.
So we can consider this great feat to be one of the first instances of terraforming
Ascension Islands military role -
During WW2 the United States built an airbase on the Ascension island known as 'WideAwake' The airfield was used by the US military as a stopping
point for American aircraft crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Europe and Africa.
Wideawake Airfield expanded in the mid-1960s. The runway was extended and improved to allow larger aircraft and to act as an emergency runway for the
space shuttle, although it never had the need to use it.
NASA established a tracking station on the island in 1967, which was closed down in 1990. Joint Government Communications Headquarters and a
National Security Agency signals intercept station was also established on Ascension during the Cold War. The European Space Agency now operates an
Ariane monitoring facility there.
Now for the politics of Ascension Island
Ascension is considered part of the St. Helena, A United Kingdom overseas territory. Ascension Island has its own local system of law, most of which
are based on the laws of Saint Helena and some parts of modified English law. The Island Council advises on new or revised laws and an administrator
is appointed to represent the Governor. Where local legislation does not exist, Saint Helenian law may be used or specific Ascension Island law is
There is no indigenous population on the island, as of 2010 around 880 people live there 696 from Saint Helena who are nicknamed the "Saints" (
British citizens), 106 British citizens from Great Britain, 70 US citizens and 12 of other nationalities and 17 RAF staff.
Sounds like a great place to live yeah?
Well dont go rushing for a plane ticket just yet, looks like its 'invite only'
In order to enter the Island you need written permission from the Administrator. There is no permanent residence offered and a contract of employment
is a requirement to stay on the Island. Short term visits by tourists are 'possible' but you need prior approval from the administrator.
The British government has asserted that there is no "right of abode" on Ascension Island
ah well, off to find another cool named Island to live on.
is a link to the official website :-)
edit on 25-7-2013 by Lady_Tuatha