International Darwin Day: 5 Fascinating Facts about Charles Darwin

This Sunday, February 12th is International Charles Darwin Day. There is no better way to celebrate Darwin Day than coming to the Galapagos to observe the famous wildlife, it is home for yourself!

In honor of the English scientist’s legacy, we invite you to take International Darwin Day as a chance and excuse to learn more about the life of the man who developed the Galapagos Islands theory of evolution.

1. Darwin married his first cousin

Darwin was the king of logic. He applied this way of thinking even to his personal life. In fact, he made a careful list of the pros and cons of marrying Emma Wedgwood. On the cons side, getting married for Darwin would mean a loss of “freedom to go where one liked” and “less money for books,” as well as a lack of time to read them.

2. Charles Darwin didn’t coin the phrase “survival of the fittest”

Probably one of the most over-used slogans behind his theory of evolution. Turns out he never used it. Not first, at least. Herbert Spencer, a philosopher contemporary to Charles Darwin was the first to use that phrase. Darwin used the phrase in his 5th edition of The Origin and gave full credit to Spencer.

3. The Church of England finally apologized to Charles Darwin 126 years after his death

Truth is a bitter pill. Turns out the Church of England Darwin’s completely misunderstood Darwin’s claims, and their harsh reactions made others equally suspicious of what Darwin was proposing. Eventually, though, they tried to make amends, even if only symbolically. Talk about the longest dry-swallow ever.

Portrait Of Charles Darwin
Photo By Richard Leakey And Roger Lewin Via Wikipedia Commons

4. Charles Darwin was not the official naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle

Robert McCormick was the official hire appointed to keep records of the ship’s naturalist findings. Unfortunately, Captain Robert Fitzroy and McCormick didn’t get along well at all, and Fitzroy couldn’t stand the idea of having him on board. Darwin was invited on board to be the captain’s companion, not just as a collector. In April 1832, while in Brazil, McCormick led the expedition to go back to England, and Darwin stayed on to do the work of naturalists.

5. HMS Beagle’s 1st voyage was abruptly interrupted while in Patagonia, South America

Captain Pringle Stokes, suffering from depression due to the isolation of his travels, committed suicide while the ship was in Patagonia. It was following this unfortunate turn of events that 1st Lieutenant Robert Fitzroy became the next in charge on the ship’s return journey to England.

The work of the famed English biologist permeates our way of thinking. What many people don’t realize is that Darwin’s influence extends well beyond the realm of natural sciences: It led to the birth of modern humanist thought as we know it today. On the Santa Cruz II cruise, you will be able to retrace some of Darwin’s footsteps. The Galapagos Islands may very well lead you to make discoveries of your own!

Source: Francisco Dousdebés

Updated:May 10, 2023

Published:February 10, 2017


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Puerto Ayora Galapagos

Puerto Ayora

Puerto Ayora, with its hydrangea-covered fences and streets bustling with people and cars, is surprisingly similar to any other small Ecuadorian port town.


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This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

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When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

Terms and Conditions

Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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