Baby names of Antarctica: Solveig, Emilio, Juan, Gisella

Only a handful of babies have been born on Antarctica. Ever wonder what their names are?

Me too. So I looked them up.

First I should mention Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen, a Norwegian baby girl who was born on South Georgia Island on October 8, 1913. She wasn’t the first baby born on Antarctica itself, but she was the first baby born in the southern polar region.

The first true Antarctican baby was Emilio Marcos de Palma, born at Argentine research station Esperanza Base in Hope Bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctica, on January 7, 1978.

Silvia Morella de Palma, the wife of Esperanza’s station leader, was flown in when she was seven months pregnant. The idea was to claim sovereignty by giving birth to the first native-born Antarctican.

Over the next five years, seven more babies were born at Esperanza Base, but I haven’t had any luck tracking down their names.

But — given the “historical rivalry between Chile and Argentina” — you can bet that Chile wasn’t going to be far behind on this. The only other civilian settlement in Antarctica, Villa Las Estrellas, located on a Chilean military base on King George Island, welcomed its first baby, Juan Pablo Camacho, in 1984.

Nicknaming him “the penguin,” [military officials in General Pinochet’s government] contended that he was the first baby conceived and born in Antarctica, drawing a contrast to Argentines born to mothers who might have given birth in Antarctica but became pregnant elsewhere.

Two more babies (one named Gisella) have since been born at Villa Las Estrellas.

If you happen to know the names/nationalities of any of the other Antarctican babies, please leave a comment!

P.S. Babies born on the other side of the world — in the Arctic — include Charlie Polaris, Marie Ahnighito, and Karina.


Image: Argentinian station Esperanza by Samuel Blanc under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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