The loneliest island

I’m lucky to have visited one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands twice. Ascension lies in the middle of the Atlantic, roughly halfway between Africa and South America – and the only reason I’ve been there is because of its runway: if you’re flying from one side of the planet to another, Ascension is…

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The penguins that wouldn’t explode

The penguins that wouldn’t explode

It all started with a random line spotted during a search for something else. “Penguins aren’t heavy enough to set off landmines,” it said, or thereabouts. Was that true? Yes, it was – or, at least, mostly true: anti-personnel mines need about 8kg of weight to set them off, and most penguin species don’t get…

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