Geographical names-gifts

As you probably noticed, many geographical names are formed from proper names. At the same time, many geographical names bear the names of completely random people. Such geographical names-gifts were fixed on the geographical map with the light hand of some travelers.

Such geographical names-gifts were fixed on the geographical map with the light hand of some travelers

So, for example, on geographical maps, the highest mountain peak in the Himalayas, between Nepal and Tibet, is not called Jomolungma, which in Tibetan means "goddess of snow" or Sagarmatha - in Nepalese "peak of the sky", but Everest. This is a typical geographical name for a gift. They made it to George Everest, who in the middle of the last century headed the English topographic department.

Fast forward to the southern shores of Australia. Here is a large island, which for a long time on geographical maps was called Van Dimenov Land, although it was discovered by the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. It turns out that this talented but poor sailor "dared" to fall in love with the daughter of the governor of the Netherlands India (now the Republic of Indonesia) and even dared to ask her rich dignitary for her hand. Deciding to get rid of the "impudent beggar" forever, the governor sent him on a long journey in search of the unknown Southern continent in the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from which, he hoped, he would not return.

In 1642, Tasman moved south through the Indian Ocean to the 40th parallel, and then sailed east for a long time. Over time, sailors saw the green cliffs of the mountainous shores of some land. Tasman called her Van Dimenova. However, he could not investigate it, because among the superstitious sailors there was a rumor that they had reached a country inhabited by giants. Had to swim further. After 10 days, another land appeared on the horizon, which the captain mistook for the wanted Southern Earth, in fact it was New Zealand. Having reached its northern cape, the sailor named it in honor of his beloved cape Maria Van Diemen.

Over 150 years, Van Dimenov Land was considered the southern peninsula of the Australian mainland. And only at the end of the 18th century. found that this is an island separated from the mainland by a narrow strait. The island rightly began to be called by the name of its discoverer - Tasmania. As for the cape of Maria Van Dimen (Melville Peninsula), this name remained as if in memory of the unfortunate love of the great navigator.

There are many other geographical gift names on the geographical map of Australia. So, for example, Spencer Bay deeply cuts into the southern coast of the mainland. Captain Flinders, who discovered it in 1820, named the bay in honor of the high chief at the navy ministry. Flinders gave the name of an official of the same rank to the neighboring Gulf of St. Vincent. The southern peninsula of the Australian mainland Wilsons-Promontori is named after some English nobleman, and the McDonnell Range in honor of the governor of South Australia.

As for the opposite northern peninsula of Cape York and its cape York, their names are also a gift to one of the then leaders of the Navy Department.

At the same time, the famous Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River and the largest lake on the Black Mainland have a loud name for Victoria. They are dedicated to the Queen of England and her husband, Prince Albert. And one of the largest rivers in South Africa - the Orange is called so not for the color of its water, but in honor of the Royal Orange Dynasty in the Netherlands. Seychelles is named after the Marquis of Seychelles - Minister of Finance of the French King Louis 15.

And yet, perhaps, a record number of geographical gift names exist on a map of North America. Most of these and many other geographical gift names were mapped in the 19th century. English navigator George Vancouver, who then described the coast of northwest America. He handed out to all geographical objects the names of not only the noble persons of Great Britain, but also his relatives, and even acquaintances.

From the time of colonial conquests, geographical names have come down to us, gifts of a significant number of cities in enslaved countries. For example, the large Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne are named after the English prime ministers of those times, and Adelaide is named after the wife of the former English king. The main city of Tasmania, Hobart, is named after the Minister of Colonies of Great Britain, who turned this island into a place of exile.