Second voyage of HMS Beagle
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Second voyage of HMS Beagle

The HMS Beagle began her second voyage around the world on December 27, 1831, from the port of Plymouth in southern England. (Her first voyage lasted from May 1826 to October 1830, while her third and last voyage was from 1837 to 1843.) The goal of the expedition was to gather hydrographical data from the southern hemisphere, along with other information about winds, marine currents, geography, plants, animals, and, of course, cultures from these as yet little-known regions.

The HMS Beagle began her second voyage around the world on December 27, 1831, from the port of Plymouth in southern England. (Her first voyage lasted from May 1826 to October 1830, while her third and last voyage was from 1837 to 1843.) The goal of the expedition was to gather hydrographical data from the southern hemisphere, along with other information about winds, marine currents, geography, plants, animals, and, of course, cultures from these as yet little-known regions. On board to keep captain Robert FitzRoy company and to record the information collected on the voyage was a young naturalist by the name of Charles Darwin. He was not yet 23 years old.

The ship completed its trip around the world after five years on October 2, 1836. The observations Darwin made during his adventure would slowly ferment in his mind, transforming into intuitions and then ideas, and finally into a theory that could explain the diversity of species on earth. It would take Darwin a further 20 years to formalize and systematize his ideas into a book entitled On the Origin of Species. Published on November 24, 1859, it would go on to change the history of how we think about nature.

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