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World > South America > South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

   flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
   South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Introduction:
The islands, which have large bird and seal populations, lie approximately 1,000 km east of the Falkland Islands and have been under British administration since 1908 - except for a brief period in 1982 when Argentina occupied them. Grytviken, on South Georgia, was a 19th and early 20th century whaling station. Famed explorer Ernest SHACKLETON stopped there in 1914 en route to his ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica on foot. He returned some 20 months later with a few companions in a small boat and arranged a successful rescue for the rest of his crew, stranded off the Antarctic Peninsula. He died in 1922 on a subsequent expedition and is buried in Grytviken. Today, the station houses scientists from the British Antarctic Survey. Recognizing the importance of preserving the marine stocks in adjacent waters, the UK, in 1993, extended the exclusive fishing zone from 12 nm to 200 nm around each island.


Official name: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Capital:
Government type:
Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: the small military garrison on South Georgia withdrew in March 2001 replaced by a permanent group of scientists of the British Antarctic Survey, which also has a biological station on Bird Island; the South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited
Languages:
Official Currency: British Pound (GBP)

Current British Pound Exchange Rates
Historical British Pound Exchange Rates
Chart British Pound Exchange Rates
Currency code: GBP
Area: total: 3,903 sq km
land: 3,903 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Shag Rocks, Black Rock, Clerke Rocks, South Georgia Island, Bird Island, and the South Sandwich Islands, which consist of 11 islands
Climate: variable, with mostly westerly winds throughout the year interspersed with periods of calm; nearly all precipitation falls as snow


Map of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
map of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands


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