A few months ago
I visited Charles Darwin's home

You know when you learn so much
that you need to put the information
through a sieve to see what gives the biggest impression?




While walking in the footsteps of such an iconic scientist,
here's a few things I took away from my visit

1) Charles's father didn't want him to go on the Beagle voyage
out of parental fear of the unknown
(who can blame him?)

But look at what was accomplished by Mr Evolution

2) Charles had boundless curiosity,
including a passion for studying barnacles and earthworms
(who knew?)

While he was studying earthworms and plants at home,
his wife insisted she have a proper flower garden
that he had to leave alone

3) When Darwin received a particular Madagascar orchid from a friend,
Darwin predicted that there must be an unusual moth with a proboscis 14'' long to pollinate it

Sure enough, the Hawk Moth was discovered forty-one years later
- aka Xanthopan morganii praedicta ('praedicta' since Darwin predicted it) -
and is the sole pollinator of the orchid Agraecum sesquipedale




4) Darwin knew his theory of evolution would be very controversial
and kept his theory a secret 
until another naturalist formed the same idea

5) Darwin had 10 children 
and he was unwell much of the time
(possibly due to an illness he picked up on his travels)

Most of his children survived childhood 
and became quite successful in a variety of careers
(his grandmother was from the porcelain Wedgewood family)





I loved visiting Down House in Kent, where Darwin raised his family,
wrote, and conducted experiments and observations

Although I would not recommend it for younger children per se,
the inner child in you will connect with Darwin's youthful curiosity and energy
and appreciate his life story

- photos by me -
Visitor information: English Heritage
(an unsponsored post)

 
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