Ebene Magazine – What is the famous Russian geographer Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky and what is the secret of his surname? ru

Ebene Magazine - What is the famous Russian geographer Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky and what is the secret of his surname? ru

Photo: Wikipedia / Alexandre Quinet

On January 14, Google dedicated its new doodle to Pyotr Semenov-Tyan-Shansky, a Russian geographer, botanist, traveler, statesman and public figure. On the start page of the search engine, a drawn image of a scientist with maps and a snapshot of mountains appeared. Today marks the 194th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian figure.

Pyotr Semyonov was born in 1827. At birth and throughout most of his life, he had the usual Russian surname.

At first, he was a volunteer at St. Petersburg University at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics in the Department of Natural Sciences. In 1849 he became a member of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. Then he was elected vice president and chairman of the Department of Physical Geography.

Peter Semyonov was the first Europeans to travel to the Tien Shan – a large system of mountains located in Central Asia on the territory of five countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

That is why his surname has a postscript « Tyan-Shansky ». This happened only in 1906, when the scientist was already 79 years old.

There the geographer drew a diagram of local ridges, explored Lake Issyk-Kul, discovered the upper reaches of the Syrdarya, saw the Tengri-Tag mountain group and the Khan-Tengri pyramid, reached the glaciers originating in the Tengri-Tag group. The researcher found out that there are no active volcanoes on the Tien Shan, then this was considered an irrefutable statement.

In addition, he was able to prove that eternal snows lie on the Tien Shan at a very high altitude, established vertical natural belts in the mountain system and discovered dozens of new, still unexplored plant species.

Semenov-Tyan-Shansky also explored Altai, the Tarbagatai mountains and the Zailiyskiy Alatau mountain range. The geographer also played an important role in the development of statistics in Russia. He published the « Geographical and Statistical Dictionary of the Russian Empire ».

Meanwhile, modern Russia has its own heroes. As 5-tv.ru previously wrote, in 2019 the Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov set several world records when completing a round-the-world trip in a rowboat. On May 9, the fearless wanderer completed a solo voyage across the South Pacific. The route from New Zealand to Cape Horn in Chile was covered in 154 days 13 hours 37 minutes. The 67-year-old Konyukhov became the oldest single rower, reached the southernmost point in a rowboat, and was in the Pacific Ocean for a record 154 days.

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