Good morning Herr Humboldt

Humboldt Current

Today we encountered the famous Humboldt current, an ocean system that runs up the coast of Chile from the cold Antarctic waters of southern Patagonia, with deep sea nutrients and some of the richest fishing grounds on the planet.

Here in Valparaíso it regularly produces super chilled pea-souper fogs, like this morning, with thick tendrils and banks of fog enveloping the city and harbour, producing a diffused toy-town light, with blue vivid sky above and white cold stillness below. It has stuck around all day today and in parts, particularly over Viña del Mar, condensed into a thick rolling bank that has completely obscured the coastline.

A spot of trivia for you. Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian scientist, naturalist and geologist (1769-1859), in his day one of the most influential people in the world, second only in fame (some say) to Napoleon. One of his ‘things’ was the study of ocean currents, and believe it or not, there’s no-one else on earth (beyond kings and queens) with more things named after them – but at least in his case he was the actual discoverer. There are countless attributions to Humboldt, particularly in the Americas – there is of course the afore-mentioned current. The Humboldt Penguin you may have heard of. But then there’s the Squid, Oak, Hog-nosed Skunk, Bladderwort, Cranesbill, Amazon River Dolphin, Glacier, Sink, Mountain… and a multitude of other places and things…

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