Rocks of Ages

On his early travels across the world it was geology that struck Charles Darwin’s interest.

Charles Darwin, 1881.
Charles Darwin, 1881 © Bridgeman Images.

Charles Darwin experienced what he recalled as one of the most significant events of his five year voyage aboard HMS Beagle on 20 February 1835: his first earthquake. He was resting from specimen gathering in woods near the southern Chilean town of Valdivia when the quake: 

Came on suddenly and lasted two minutes (but appeared much longer) … I can compare it to skating on very thin ice or to the motion of a ship in a little cross ripple … a breeze moved the trees, I felt the earth tremble.

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