14 September 1769, 245 years ago, the Prussian geographer, naturalist, and explorer Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was born in Berlin.
“The principal impulse by which I was directed was the earnest endeavor to comprehend the phenomena of physical objects in their general connection, and to represent nature as one great whole, moved and animated by internal forces. My intercourse with highly-gifted men early led me to discover that, without an earnest striving to attain to a knowledge of special branches of study, all attempts to give a grand and general view of the universe would be nothing more than a vain illusion. These special departments in the great domain of natural science are, moreover, capable of being reciprocally fructified by means of the appropriative forces by which they are endowed. (Alexander von Humboldt, “Kosmos”)
|The German painter Eduard Hildebrandt’s (1817 – 1868) capture of Alexander von Humboldt in his library|
|Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus humboldtii)|
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