Discovering Zealandia: A Geologist’s Antarctic Odyssey
Join Kathleen and Adanna as they welcome geologist and author Bruce Luyendyk to discuss his upcoming memoir, “Mighty Bad Land,” available May 30. In this engaging episode, Bruce shares his experiences during his first scientific expedition to Antarctica, where he and his five-person team embarked on a six-week geology quest, accidentally discovering a new continent and unraveling the mysteries of Zealandia, the world’s eighth continent.
Delving into Bruce’s gripping narrative, Kathleen and Adanna explore the trials and triumphs of his Antarctic journey, shedding light on the profound implications of proving the existence of Zealandia. As they navigate the fascinating world of scientific exploration, they also dive into the challenges and rewards of writing a memoir that seamlessly combines adventure, scientific inquiry, and personal growth.
This episode immerses listeners into Antarctica’s awe-inspiring landscapes and scientific discovery’s indomitable spirit. Whether you’re a science enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or intrigued by captivating memoirs, don’t miss this thrilling conversation between Kathleen, Adanna, and Bruce Luyendyk.
Bruce Luyendyk, Distinguished Professor Emeritus from UC Santa Barbara, was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, in 2016, the US Board on Geographic Names honored the author by naming Summit 1070 in Antarctica Mount Luyendyk. His prior research in marine geophysics included the exploration of deep-sea black smokers, i.e., hydrothermal vents, using the deep submersible ALVIN off western Mexico. For this, he and colleagues shared the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Four geologists and two mountain guides face the brutal beauty of West Antarctica eight hundred miles from the US main base. Their search reaches far into the treacherous mountains of Marie Byrd Land. During six weeks of living in tents and traveling by snowmobile, the team endures endless cold and furious blizzards. They cross ice fields and hidden crevasses, which one member of the team learns about the hard way.
What keeps them going in spite of these dangers? Will the mountains give up their secrets? Can these scientists find evidence of the formation of the ranges many millions of years ago as the giant continent of Gondwana began to break apart? Was a new continent, now known as Zealandia, created by this event?
Mighty Bad Land, told firsthand by Bruce Luyendyk, a former professor of geology, reveals his inner battles and challenges: he’s almost fifty, asthmatic, and fights chronic pain. Through deft storytelling, readers are invited into a land of emptiness, beauty, constant daylight, and unseen menace. Luyendyk’s forthcoming memoir, Mighty Bad Land (Permuted Press; May 2023), is available for preorder on Amazon.
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