2. The Desert under the Sea
Portugal, 3 January 1873, 38o44'N, 09o
January 3, 1873 Challenger entered Lisbon Roads, the anchorage
on the river Tagus, arriving at the city of Lisbon at
before departure, the King of Portugal, an enthusiastic
natural historian, paid a visit to the ship, where Nares
and Wyville Thomson, impressed with the king's knowledge
of biology, took great delight in introducing him to the
cutting edge of Victorian technology.
being detained in Lisbon for two days longer than planned
because of bad weather, on January 12, Challenger made
all plain sail for the most southerly of Victoria's possessions
in Europe, Gibraltar.
of the Living Dead
Soon after leaving Lisbon, in water 2,000 fathoms (6,000
feet, a little more than a mile) deep, they dredged a
Scientifics' recovery of the crinoid was significant because
it proved that the Challenger expedition was fulfilling
one of its primary roles: testing Darwin's theory that
the bottom of the ocean was a haven for life forms that
were extinct on land.
Echo of an Idea
Sounding and dredging were the two techniques at the
heart of Challenger's enterprise; sounding to measure
the depth of the ocean over which the ship passed and
dredging to bring up material for study.
these seem incredibly primitive, just throwing a string
over the side of a boat. But in fact they represented
the cutting edge of Victorian remote sensing technology.
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