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12th June, 1858 was born English explorer Harry Johnston

Hanry JohnstonOn the 12 of 1858 was born Harry Johnston - African explorer, naturalist, official.

In his youth, Harry seriously studied foreign languages and zoology. Then for two years he was engaged in drawing in France. In 1876 traveled to Spain and Portugal.

It was a short man just 152 cm growth, but thanks to his outstanding abilities became known as the "Little Giant". Harry Johnston was a good artist, cartographer, photographer, writer and naturalist.

In 1882 Johnston began to study tropical West Africa. Travel map shows that he was able to visit Mosamedish (the old name Namibe, located on the Atlantic coast of Angola), visit the Kunene River (is located in the south-western part of Africa, originates in Angola and in the middle creates the border between Angola and Namibia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean), pass along the Congo River from the mouth to Bolobo.

In 1884 Harry Johnston was researching the flora and fauna of Kilimanjaro. Later in 1889 he was promoted to vice-consul in Mozambique, where he explored Lake Leopold. On modern maps this lake can be found under the name of Mai Ndombe (located in the western part of the Congo Basin, the length is 130 km).

In the period from 1891 to 1895 he was a general consul and provided security of transportation on Lake Nyasa.

Johnston was fluent in Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Italian. He knew 30 African languages. He wrote more than fifty books and hundreds of six short works. He also painted pictures of wildlife, which were highly appreciated by professionals.

During his travels he discovered and described more than 100 species of birds, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals. The most significant of all the discoveries, perhaps, is the okapi - kind of artiodactyls, outwardly resembling a horse. It affects in northeastern Zaire. This finding was the zoological sensation of the XX century.

This Day in History 12-06-2014