The cushion plant are usually found much higher in the mountains, but for some reason this mini ecosystem has survived on Isla Bridges for centuries outlasting even the original inhabitants.
When you first step onto the island it looks like rocks covered in moss, but on closer investigation you see several plants co-exist on the moss like surface. This unique species only grows an inch in a year and then only during the warmer months making the Isla Bridges a fragile, but well protected island in the Beagle Channel.
The original inhabitants of the Isla Bridges were the Yamana, a nomadic tribe that moved between the islands by canoe. The Yamana developed a natural resistance against the sub-Antarctic climate by smearing their bodies with seal oil which may have been the reason why their body temperature was 1 degree higher than humans today. The region was named the Land of Fire (Tierra del Fuego) by the early European explorers who saw the dotted Yamana camp fires on the islands throughout the Beagle channel.
Photos and content by Tharien Pieterse, ForestNation Ambassador and Founder and travel writer at Travel Muti.