By Dilip M. Salwi
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Extra info for A passage to Antarctica
Man thus began to have some idea of my kingdom. At the end of the International Geophysical Year scientists from all over the world declared jointly that 23 I was a place worth preserving at any cost. I was declared to be an international laboratory for scientific research. A number of scientific committees and organisations were also set up not only to study me and my neighbouring seas systematically but to take every care to see that my pure air and ice and the life upon me and in the seas were not spoiled by anyone in any manner.
To get up in the 'morning' and light a candle was then a big adventure in itself. 22 The Geophysical Year The real turn in my life came—or so I felt then— when I was declared one of the primary goals of scientific experiments of the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. I was even called "A region of almost unparralleled interest". During this year, scientific studies of various mysterious phenomena such as the polar lights, ionosphere, jet streams, were conducted the world over and two man-made satellites were launched for their study.
In fact, as far back as in 1956 India had proposed that I should be declared as a heritage of mankind and that an international body, such as the United Nations, should decide how the affairs should be conducted on me. It is at least better than my division into several pieces or, perchance, my being the cause of the third world war. I wish men should live happily on me. 25 The first batch of men and women came to me as tourists in 1958. Today, almost 1,000 people visit me every year. They come to see the penguin rookeries, seals, whales and whaling stations, and also some man-made monuments.