Most interesting wonders of Ascension Island
Ascension Island is a part of British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena. This remote island is neither part of Africa nor South America – but in order to keep files in some order, Wondermondo lists Ascension Island as a part of Africa.
Rather many species of animals and plants are met only on this remote island and in the sea waters around it.
The indigenous plants and animals of this island have been heavily affected by introduced species of plants and animals, but some have survived. There are the following endemic plant species (all endangered):
- fern Anogramma ascensionis
- fern Asplenium ascensionis
- spurge Euphorbia origanoides
- fern Marattia purpurascens
- fern Pteris adscensionis
- grass Sporobolus caespitosus
- fern Xiphopteris ascensionense
Several species of fish (including Taenioconger camelopardalis and Helcogramma ascensionis) along the shores of the island are not met anywhere else. Endemism among the smaller animals – insects and crustaceans – is higher, f.e. 14 species of decapods are met only here. All 5 species of pseudoscorpions are endemic.
- Boatswain Bird Island – sea stack, inhabited by numerous sea birds. The only place where Ascension frigate bird (Fregata aquilana) lives. Island is white colored from bird droppings.
- Boatswain Bird Island natural arch – impressive natural arch at the southern coast of this small island.
- Dampier’s Cave – shallow cave below Residency Cliffs. Legendary site where bucaneer William Dampier stored his treasure when he was stranded on Ascension island in 1701.
Described wonders of Ascension Island
The world’s interest in tiny Ascension Island, some 5,000 miles downrange from Cape Canaveral, Florida, began when the Lords of the Admiralty established a garrison on the island to thwart any attempts to rescue Napoleon from the island’s closest neighbor, St Helena. One giant leap occurred 151 years later, when NASA built the Devil’s Ashpit tracking station to support Project Apollo.
The bleak, volcanic island of Ascension, 800 miles from its nearest neighbor St Helena, was described by a Victorian naval officer as ‘one of the strangest places on the face of the earth’.