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as soon as Portuguese traveler Bartolomeu Dias rounded the rocky headland of south Africa’s Cape Peninsula in 1488, he became the very first European to carry out so, for this reason opening the means for a sea path from Europe come Asia. He called it the ‘Cape of Storms’, due to the fact that of the perilous sea, but it was later on renamed ‘Cape of an excellent Hope’, because it lugged hopes the a new sea course to India. Top top his return journey, Dias passed one more rocky headland but he to be unaware that this unimpressive point was the southerly extremity that Africa. Many people still believe that Cape of good Hope is the southern-most pointer of the african continent however that title belongs come Cape Agulhas–the inconspicuous rocky headland about 150 km further south. Incidentally, Cape Agulhas is likewise the ar where the official dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian oceans passes. A stone plaque on the beach marks the place.
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The border was not arbitrarily chosen. This is the location where the warm-water Agulhas current of the Indian s meets the cold water Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean and turns ago on itself. However, any physical an interpretation of a meeting suggest or separating line in between two oceans ignores the reality that currents don’t simply halt their flow at any kind of point. Ocean currents transition and mingle. where the Indian and Atlantic seas actually fulfill has been the subject of many heated arguments among South Africans. To source of the man is the the point at i m sorry the Agulhas present meets the Benguela current tends to shake seasonally between Cape Agulhas and also Cape Point, about 1.2 km eastern of the Cape of great Hope. Follow to maritime biologists, the really meeting suggest can be established by observing the distinctions in marine life brought about by the alters in temperature along the coast. For instance, the prolific kelp (Ecklonia maxima) forests, which prefer cooler water, grows all the means from the west coast, previous Cape point in an easterly direction, only as much as Cape Agulhas. This truth supports the dispute that the dividing line in between the warm and also cold waters is much more often at Cape Agulhas than anywhere else.
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However, come the chagrin the Cape Agulhas’ residents, the Cape suggest that draws much more tourists than Cape Agulhas, who pertained to witness the Indian and Atlantic seas splashing together. Enterprise in Cape point are cashing in on the misinformed tourists. Gift shops in the area market souvenirs choose coffee mugs, T-shirts, collector spoons and bottles of ocean water, every emblazoned v the slogan, ‘Cape Point, south Africa: where two seas meet.’


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A component of the reason why Cape Agulhas fails to draw plenty of tourists than they have to is since it isn’t rather as spectacular or dramatic together Cape Point. “To stand at Cape point is one experience favor stepping to the leaf of the grand Canyon,” writes john Murphy in Baltimore Sun. Over there is virtually too lot for the eye to take it in. Visitors have tendency to pause prior to reaching for your cameras, in awe of all the is before them: the dramatic cliffs, the sea looking as if it"s coming to a cook below, the seabirds riding the wind, in the street the southern right whales peeking above the waves.
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rapid fact: Cape Agulhas was called by Portuguese navigators, who dubbed it Cabo das Agulhas, Portuguese for ‘Cape of Needles’, since they noticed that the compass needle, hence the direction of magnetic north, synchronized with true north in the area. The earth’s magnetic north pole, however, shift slowly through time, thus changing magnetic declination worths throughout the human being accordingly.

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The declination roughly the cape this day is some 25 level west, which method that the magnetic phibìc pole lies 25 degree to the left the true north.