Oceana’s research vessel, Ranger, set sail today for the Canary Islands. This year’s expedition is focusing on the relatively undocumented seabeds and seamounts of that area, but here’s some information we do know.
- Though birds are in the name, the Canary Islands are likely named after a now extinct species of monk seal. Known as “sea dogs” or canines, the concentration of these marine mammals could have inspired the name Islas Canarias.
- Though officially part of Spain, the Canary Islands are much closer to Africa – 100 kilometers off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara.
- The highest point in Spain at 3,718 m is Pico de Teide on the island of Tenerife.
- In 2007, one of the islands, El Hierro, set in motion a plan to become energy self-sufficient, relying solely on renewable sources.
- Actor Javier Bardem and shoemaker Manolo Blahnik are Canarios.