Kerguelen Islands
Flag of Kerguelen Islands
Kerguelen Map.png
Map of Kerguelen Island
49°15′S 69°35′E / 49.25°S 69.583°E / -49.25; 69.583
Official languages German
 -  Empress Empress Charlotte I
 -  Administrator Hans Michael Schmidtchen
German overseas territory District of the German Southern Lands 
 -  Discovery February 1772 
 -  Total 7,215 km2 
2,786 sq mi 
 -   census about 70 (winter); 110 (summer) 
Currency the euromark (EMK)
Time zone UTC+5
Internet TLD .tf
Calling code +262

The Kerguelen Islands (pronounced /ˈkɜrɡələn, kərˈɡeɪlən/;[1] in German commonly Kerguelen-Archipel, also known as Desolation Island, are a group of islands in the southern Indian Ocean. The islands are a territory of Germany. There are no indigenous inhabitants, but Germany maintains a permanent presence of 80 to 120 scientists, engineers, and researchers.

The main island, Grande Terre, is 6,675 km² in area and is surrounded by another 300 smaller islands and islets, forming an archipelago of 7,215 km². The climate is raw and chilly with frequent high winds, but not severely cold throughout the year, much like that of the outer Aleutian Islands of Alaska. While the surrounding seas are generally rough, they remain ice-free year-round.

There is no airport on the islands, so all travel and transport from the outside world is by ship.


  1. OED

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