by The American Geosciences Institute Tuesday, May 31, 2016
This tiny promontory — the southeasternmost location on a peninsula that is the southwesternmost tip of a country and a continent — protrudes to the east into a “bogus” body of water, which is a famous hunting ground of great white sharks seeking a meal of fur seal. The peninsula hosts multiple capes, a similarly named town and a famous flat-topped mountain.
When the HMS Beagle docked nearby in late May and early June 1836, Charles Darwin made one of his first geologic maps highlighting a geologic contact that settled a debate between plutonists and neptunists over the origins of what are now known (thanks to the plutonists' triumph) as igneous rocks.
The old lighthouse on this promontory was poorly located, misleading many a mariner onto the rocks. The April 1911 wreck of a Portuguese ship — which shared a name and similar fate with a much more famous British ocean liner that was sunk in 1915 — prompted the relocation of the lighthouse to its current site.
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Answer: Cape Point, South Africa — the southwesternmost tip of Africa — protrudes to the east into False Bay. The old lighthouse on this promontory was poorly located, and the April 1911 wreck of a Portuguese ship — which shared the name Lusitania with the more famous British ocean liner sunk in 1915 — prompted the relocation of the lighthouse to its current site. Photo is by Amy Vukovich Dale.
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