"Heards Island - South Indian Ocean"

zoomable artifact image here


Furs and oil lured American sealers and whalers to some of the remotest regions of the earth. Among these forbidding environments was Heard Island, located near the Antarctic Circle in the south Indian Ocean. Where glaciers fell into the frigid sea, elephant seals gathered to breed. In the 1850s humans discovered the island, and for 30 years whalemen from New London, Connecticut, flocked there to kill these large beasts, rendering their insulating blubber into oil and saving their leathery pelts for industrial uses. An unidentified artist painted this stylized view of sealers from New London, using lances.