Argentina and Chile fought for control of Antarctica...by having babies in The Last Continent

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaNov 23, 2022 | 08:00

Argentina and Chile fought for control of Antarctica...by having babies in The Last Continent

Eleven babies are born on the continent- eight Argentinian ones and three Chileans. Illustration: Geetanjali Singh/ dailyOleven babies are born on the continent-eight Argentinian ones and three Chileans. Illustration: Geetanjali Singh

For a very long time, men have waged battles and committed all kinds of absurd acts in an effort to claim a certain piece of land as their own.

In addition to all the murders, battles, and killings, having a child in Antarctica - the most remote region on earth, with the worst climate and no access to modern medicines - is undoubtedly the most insane thing anyone has ever done to obtain a land.

However, this has been done 11 times in total, and by two countries.

But why? To understand this, take a look at the Antarctica map: 

Photo: Territorial Claims for Antarctica (discoveringantarctica.com))

Today Antarctica is "controlled"  by a treaty called the Antarctic Treaty, which gives permission to 12 nations to do research in the area. 

But in the 1900s the situation was different: 

Since Antarctica was the only continent in the world without a native population, in early 1900, the nearby nations like Chile and Argentina began to develop an obsession with the icy continent and a desire to claim it as their own during the 20th century.

A portion of land in the Antarctic, known as the Falkland island, was partitioned among so many nations (see the map above). Falkland was considered to be part of British territory by Britons (as they liked to claim all lands as their own), Argentina by Argentinians, and Chile by the government of Chile. However, if you had asked any other country, Falkanland wasn't owned by either of them.  

Photo: Falkland Islands (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/)

Now, Chile and Argentina were particularly keen to make this piece of land theirs in whatever manner possible, while Britain was occupied fighting other kinds of warfare. 

Baby Number 1 Ft Argentina: In 1977, Argentina's Esperanza Base had a military detachment led by Captain Jorge Emilio Palma, whose wife, Silvia Morella de Palma was pregnant. At seven months, she was flown from Argentina to Esperanza Base and then two-ish months later she gave birth to Emilio Marcos Palma on January 7, 1978. 

Photo: Captain Jorge Emilio Palma and Silvia Morello parents of the first person born in Antarctica. Photo / Silvia Morello; Horacio Villalobos, Getty Images via NZherald

Argentina essentially thought that since this child was born in Antarctica, could be the first citizen of that continent, making Argentina the rightful owner of that territory. 

First Antarctic Baby: Emilio Marcos Palma became the first baby born on the continent, on January 7, 1978. Photo / Horacio Villalobos/Getty Images via NZ Herald

Baby Number 2 ft Chile: Even though Chile agreed to this for a year, but later they too became ambitious. They also sent a Chilean couple to Antarctica, where they not only birthed but conceived a child. So on November 21, 1984, Juan Pablo Camacho Martino was born- the first Chilean born. 

And what was Chilean's logic? Since the child had been born and conceived there, they had an even stronger claim on Antarctica.

TILL ... 11 BABIES: The race continued, and 11 babies were born on the continent - eight Argentinians and three Chileans. 

Fortunately, no mother or child died, despite the fact that giving birth to a child is not a viable option in Antarctica. As a result, Antarctica has the lowest child death rate worldwide (Zero basically). 

What's happening now? 

Thankfully both countries have stopped sending mothers or newlywed couples for their crazy experiments. Moreover, during the 1900s, both Argentina and Chile were run by dictators who wanted control over the land no matter what.

Last updated: November 23, 2022 | 12:56
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