The monotypic Pringlea antiscorbutica, the Kerguelen Island cabbage, has no near ally in the southern hemisphere, but is closely related to the northern Cochlearia.
In 1772 the French explorer Yves Kerguelen de Tremarec had discovered the land that bears his name in the South Indian Ocean without recognizing it to be an island, and naturally believed it to be part of the southern continent.
The North African Basin has several deeps with more than 3300 fathoms to the northwest and the south-west of the Cape Verde Islands, but the South African Basin is less deep. In the South Atlantic there is no connexion between the Central Rise and the Antarctic Shelf, for the Indo-Atlantic Antarctic Basin stretches from near the South Sandwich Islands towards Kerguelen with depths exceeding 2500 fathoms and reaching in places 3100.
In the Indian Ocean the Kerguelen Rise stretches broadly southward, east of the island which gives it a name, to the Antarctic Shelf with the greatest depths upon it usually less than 2000 fathoms, and it stretches northward beyond New Amsterdam to 30° S.
This rise is separated from the Crozet Rise by a depression extending to 2675 fathoms, through which the Kerguelen Trough (which lies north of Kerguelen) is brought into free communication with the Indo-Atlantic Antarctic Basin.
KERGUELEN ISLAND, KERGUELEN'S Land, or DESOLATION ISLand, an island in the Southern Ocean, to the S.E.
Kerguelen lies between 48° 39' and 49° 44' S.
Kerguelen Island is of undoubted volcanic origin, the prevailing rock being basaltic lavas, intersected occasionally by dikes, and an active volcano and hot springs are said to exist in the south-west of the island.
The soundings made by the "Challenger" and "Gazelle" and the affinities which in certain respects exist between the islands, seem to point to the existence at one time of an extensive land area in this quarter, of which Kerguelen, Prince Edward's Islands, the Crozets, St Paul and Amsterdam are the remains.
The Kerguelen plateau rises in many parts to within 1500 fathoms of the surface of the sea.
Hooker the vegetation of Kerguelen Island is of great antiquity; and may have originally reached it from the American continent; it has no affinities with Africa.
Fur-seals are still found in Kerguelen, though their numbers have been reduced by reckless slaughter.
The sea-elephant and sea-leopard are characteristic. Penguins of various kinds are abundant; a teal (Querquedula Eatoni) peculiar to Kerguelen and the Crozets is also found in considerable numbers, and petrels, especially the giant petrel (Ossifraga gigantea), skuas, gulls, sheath-bills (Chionis minor), albatross, terns, cormorants and Cape pigeons frequent the island.
The island was discovered by the French navigator, Yves Joseph de Kerguelen-Tremarec, a Breton noble (1745-1797), on the 13th of February 1772, and partly surveyed by him in the following year.
In January 1893 Kerguelen was annexed by France, and its commercial exploitation was assigned to a private company.
De Kerguelen-Tremarec, Relation de deux voyages dans les mers australes (Paris, 1782); Narratives of the Voyages of Captain Cook and the "Challenger" Expedition; Phil.
168, containing account of the collections made in Kerguelen by the British transit of Venus expedition in 1874-1875; Lieutard, "Mission aux Iles Kerguelen," &c., Annales hydrographiques (Paris, 1893).
The genus Isotoma, for example, has some of its numerous species in regions so remote as Alaska, Franz Josef Land, the Sandwich Islands, the South Orkneys, Graham Land, Kerguelen and South Victoria Land.
Society, 1876, pp. 317-332), says that it presents three local forms - one occurring from New Zealand to Norfolk Island and past Kerguelen Land to the Cape of Good Hope, another restricted to the Falklands, and the third hitherto only met with near the south-polar ice.
Amounting to a serious pest in Australasian colonies, it is also established in the Falklands and Kerguelen; its presence in much of Europe is attributed to early acclimatization, as it seems anciently to have been confined to the Iberian peninsula.