Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

The just-discovered world

news-species-discovered1“Scientists have discovered dozens of new species of animals and plants in a remote ‘Lost World’ in the dense forests of Papua New Guinea…”

This reminds me of something I read in the Lonely Planet, tucked away in a little box at the foot of one page:

Keep an eye out

Papua New guinea is still very much a biological frontier so it’s worth recording carefully any unusual animal you see. A photograph, local name, and description of were it was found will help a specialist identify it. In little-visited regions, there’s a chance that it will be an undescribed species. There are still lots of species – especially frogs, reptiles and insects – waiting to be discovered.

It’s funny how the smallest thing can have the biggest impact, but this really made me stop and think. Maybe it’s lazy thinking, or I’ve got too used to living in well-mapped, neatly-ordered and built-up Britain, but it hadn’t occured to me that the world was so unexplored that anyone like me could do any real discovering. This short passage has completely changed the way I think, particularly about PNG. In the past I had wrongly assumed it was just another country. Now I think of it as where the wild things are; a place for an adventure.


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