Bering Island

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Bering Island
Bering Island, summer 1992
Bering Island, summer 1992
Waters Pacific Ocean
Archipelago Commander Islands
Geographical location 55 ° 2 ′  N , 166 ° 16 ′  E Coordinates: 55 ° 2 ′  N , 166 ° 16 ′  E
Bering Island (Far East Federal District)
Bering Island
length 91 km
width 24 km
surface 1 660  km²
Highest elevation gora Stellera
(Mount Steller)
757  m
Residents 613 (2009)
<1 inh / km²
main place Nikolskoye
Map of the commander's islands off Kamchatka, Bering Island (western)
Map of the commander's islands off Kamchatka, Bering Island (western)

The Bering Island ( Russian Остров Беринга , Ostrow Beringa ), formerly Avacha Island , is one of the Russian commanders' islands in the Northwest Pacific named after the Danish explorer Vitus Bering .


The island is 176 km east of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Siberia . The eastern neighboring island of Medny is 50.2 km away. The Bering Island is 92.6 km long, up to 36.6 km wide and has an area of ​​1660 km²; it is thus the largest of the commanders' islands. The highest mountain is Mount Steller (Гора Стеллера or gora Stellera ), named after Georg Wilhelm Steller . Around 800 people live on Bering Island, primarily in Nikolskoje , on the northwest coast.


Vitus Bering discovered this island as part of the Second Kamchatka Expedition on the way back from the American continent . After a long wandering his ship, the Swjatoi Pjotr ( Saint Peter ), ran aground here in the late autumn of 1741. Bering decided to spend the winter on the island. Many members of his team and eventually he himself died here of cold, exhaustion and scurvy . Only 46 people from his originally 77-strong crew, including the German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller , managed to return to Kamchatka in a newly built, smaller boat in the late summer of 1742 .

Bering's grave was not rediscovered until 1991 along with other graves; six skeletons were brought to Moscow . After examination and identification, the remains were brought back to the island and reburied there. The cause of death could no longer be conclusively clarified; The only thing that is certain is that they all died of natural causes.

The island was once rich in valuable fur animals such as the arctic fox and sea ​​otters , but these were quickly eradicated.


The nature reserve, established by the government of the Russian Federation since 1993, includes both the entire commander's islands and the marine area that surrounds them. The islands are visited by cruise ships from time to time.


Web links

Commons : Bering Island  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files