Published 7th October 2021

Finlandia Foothills

As part of a regular series on the meaning of place-names in the Territory, this latest edition focuses on place-names in Antarctica which are often chosen around a theme for each area. An interesting example of this effect is in the Finlandia Foothills, Alexander Island.

Antarctic place names map
Credit: British Antarctic Survey [Click image to enlarge]
This area had not been visited prior to January 2018, and so this was used as a nod to older maps where uncharted areas were decorated with dragons and other mythical beasts.

Dragon Peak is the highest point of the Finlandia Foothills, while Lindworm and Wyvern are types of dragons in mythology.

Arach, Draco, Ryu and Tatsu are Gaelic, Latin, Sino-Japanese and Japanese for dragon, respectively. You will be familiar with Smaug, named after the infamous dragon of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937).

For information about British Antarctic Territory place-names and guidelines on how to submit new proposals, visit the Committee website.


With thanks to the British Antarctic Survey for the image and text.