Drake Passage Facts

Drake Passage Facts
Drake Passage is located between Antarctica's South Shetland Islands, and South America's Cape Horn. It is also known as Mar de Hoces, or the Sea of Hoces. The southwestern region of the Atlantic Ocean is connected to the Pacific Ocean's southeastern region via Drake Passage. The passage also extends into the Southern Ocean.
Interesting Drake Passage Facts:
Drake Passage is named after Sir Francis Drake, an English privateer from the 1500s.
The first ship known to pass through Drake Passage was the Eendracht, in 1616. The ship's captain was Willem Schouten. He named Cape Horn on that voyage.
Drake Passage is 500 miles and is the shortest route to cross from Antarctica to another land mass.
It is believed that Drake Passage was closed until roughly 41 million years ago. Prior to the passage opening the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans were completely blocked. Once the passage opened Antarctica cooled and its ice cap was able to form.
The age of the passage was determined by a chemical study of the teeth of fish that were discovered in sedimentary rock in the ocean.
Seas are commonly rough in Drake Passage.
Whale watching is a popular tourist activity in Drake Passage. It is common to see humpback whales in the passage, as well as seabirds flying overhead.
Dolphins can be seen in the waters of Drake Passage.
Ships prefer Drake Passage to the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel, as it is wider and does not become ice bound like the two latter passages.
Species of seabirds that can be seen in Drake Passage include penguins, giant petrels, and albatrosses.


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