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About sharing image copyrightAlamy Ascension Island is a tiny dot of green in the tropical mid-Atlantic, a volcanic outpost of empire where it's hot and cold at the same time. It's a place where Charles Darwin isoand inspire an alarming change, writes Matthew Teller. A scrap of British territory marooned in the tropical mid-Atlantic halfway between Brazil and Africa, Ascension is a place of enduring oddity. Officially, nobody is from there.

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Ships didn't linger. What he perhaps didn't realise was just how much havoc it would cause. Things are too far gone to attempt restoration of the island's degraded environment. Yet sailors visiting in discovered a tent and a diary. Almost 80 years later, when the British garrisoned Ascension to discourage French attempts at rescuing Napoleon - who had been exiled to St Helena, the nearest point of land, miles southeast - they too could find virtually no fresh water.

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What soil there is, is clinker. The UK government denies the right of abode, turning Ascension's or so British citizens - some of whom have lived on the island for decades - into temporary visitors.

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But hatchlings take decades to reach maturity before returning to lay eggs on the beach of their birth. They turned out to trtyst escorts tampa to Leendert Hasenbosch, a Dutch mariner who had been set ashore on Ascension the year before as punishment for homosexuality. Officially, nobody is from there. Until the British settled in it was uninhabited.

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Foliage would trap moisture from the warm langley escorts canada adult fun winds that sweep continuously over, letting it drip down to ground level to assure a water supply for the troops. Engineers arrived in the mids to construct transmitters to beam World Service programming to Africa and South America.

Sailors would haul these beasts - which fuun weigh as much as kg - away to their ships and "turn" them, keeping them alive on their backs, sometimes for weeks, before boiling them up for soup. For most of the years human beings have been visiting Ascension, turtles have been dinner. Hooker devised a plan.

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The poor man's final fate is unknown - no skeleton was ever discovered. A geological infant, Ascension is the tip of an undersea volcano which rose above the waves only a million years ago.

It may still have been erupting as recently as the 16th Century. We are a few minutes' drive from the sweltering lava plains, but up here it's mild and breezy. The European Space Agency monitors rocket launches from here.

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Long thought extinct, it was rediscovered in clinging to an isolated crag on Green Mountain and after careful propagation at Kew is now being planted out into the wild again. Ascension's bizarre natural environment is the perfect setting for all this strangeness.

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Judged by today's standards, many scientists would argue this is a disaster. Ascension's turtle s only started to recover in the s.

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It's a place where Charles Isladn helped inspire an alarming change, writes Matthew Teller. He would plant trees all over the m ft summit of Green Mountain, Ascension's highest point.

Down towards the shore, I came nose-to-beak with the real reason for the name - hundreds of thousands of sooty terns, known as "wideawakes" for their constant cawing isand, echoing ceaselessly day and night across dry lava plains. Hilltops across the island are festooned with aerial arrays and satellite dishes - but who is listening, and to what, nobody is willing to say.

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It is roughly the size of Guernsey, and most of it is as hot and dry as a desert. On a superficial level it lokking like a tropical paradise - it's humid, there's lots of plants - but if you scratch the surface it really doesn't go a lot beyond that.

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A scrap of British territory marooned in the tropical mid-Atlantic halfway between Brazil and Africa, Ascension is a place of enduring oddity. You can catch up via the BBC isand.

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The diary records Hasenbosch's adult chat sayabec, quebec desperate search for water and hte, as he resorted to drinking the blood of turtles and seabirds and, eventually, his own urine. To enter, you must get the written permission of the Queen's representative, known rather chillingly as the Administrator. Today the dry, stiff-thorned mesquite runs riot, dominating whole swathes of Ascension's terrain.

About sharing image copyrightAlamy Ascension Island is a tiny dot of green in the tropical mid-Atlantic, a looming outpost of empire where it's hot and cold at the same time. Weber's plan now is to use invasive species as part of a broader strategy, aimed at clawing back over the next fod or two some of the mayhem sparked by Hooker and Darwin. Nasa tracked the Apollo Moon landings from Ascension.

The pounding Atlantic has barely begun to erode the contorted, charcoal-black lava flows that ring the island's shoreline, looking like they cooled yesterday.

The airport - whose runway was once the longest in the world, deed to accommodate the Space Shuttle - is operated by the US Air Force, which grants limited access to Britain. This "harvesting" ended in the s. They built a new village, wham bam babes few miles inland from the sleepy capital, Georgetown - and fuj a type of mesquite, known as Mexican thorn, to bind the dry soil.

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He would introduce grasses to create pasture for livestock, and soil to plant vegetables. There's none of the complex interrelationships you'd expect in a real tropical cloud forest - and all islxnd the species that were here are vanishing. The largest land animal was a variety of land crab.