Alexander von Humboldt

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Alexander von Humboldt was a German geographer, naturalist, and explorer who established biogeography as well as modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring. He had an unquenchable love for nature, and he spent a lot of time collecting and categorizing samples of plants, insects, and shells. He was taught a range of disciplines as a child, ranging from languages to economics. However, he was always drawn to nature and had a strong desire to learn more about it. As a young boy, he decided to go on trips in order to satisfy his thirst for information about various plant species and to have a deeper understanding of the earth’s vastness. In addition to learning about minerals at the mining school where he was a student, Humboldt expanded his expertise through his trips through England. His mineralogy studies, together with the expertise he gained on his travels, enabled him land a mining position in Berlin. He performed admirably in his duties and rose to the top of the department. However, he had a strong desire to learn more about the world, and exploration was the only way to do so. So he quit his work and, armed with the inheritance from his mother, set out on a new adventure. In his famed book ‘Kosmos,’ he discovered many untold truths about nature and shared them with the world.

Childhood and Adolescence

On the 14th of September, 1769, in Berlin, in the historic state of Prussia, he was born to Alexander Georg von Humboldt and Maria Elizabeth Colomb. Wilhelm was his younger brother.

Alexander’s mother was fortunate in that she took on the responsibilities of her children after Alexander’s father died in 1779. Private tutors taught him and his brother political history, mathematics, economics, and a variety of languages at their home.

He had a propensity for studying and collecting specimens of plants, insects, and shells since he was a toddler, earning him the moniker “the little apothecary.”

Later, he enrolled as a finance student at the ‘University of Frankfurt (Oder)’ for a short time.
In 1789, he enrolled at the ‘University of Göttingen,’ and the following year, he set out on a Rhine River excursion. ‘Mineralogische Beobachtungen über einige Basalte am Rhein’ was written on this trip (Mineralogic Observations on Several Basalts on the River Rhine).

Career of Alexander von Humboldt

Humboldt had an interest in geology and mineralogy while at university and afterwards entered the ‘Freiberg Academy of Mines,’ where he was trained by renowned geologist A.G. Werner.

He also met George Foster, who worked as an illustrator for legendary explorer Captain James Cook. George and Alexander embarked on a journey around Europe. During the summer of 1790, the two went to England.

Alexander took a mining career in Berlin in 1792 and was assigned to the position of assessor of mines. He did an excellent job and quickly rose through the ranks of the department. He was also tasked with a number of diplomatic missions.

Between 1792 to 1797, this explorer lived in Vienna, Austria, and took a short trip to Italy and Switzerland in between.

He worked tirelessly in the mining department from morning to evening, accumulating vast knowledge in the sector. Based on his study of the flora in the mines, he published ‘Florae Fribergensis Specimen’ in 1793.

He was accepted into the Weimer coterie in 1794, and his piece ‘Die Lebenskraft, or der rhodische Genius’ was published in the journal ‘Die Horen’ the following year.

When his mother died in 1796, he inherited a large sum of money. He resigned from his work at the mining department the next year and went on an expedition with botanist Aimé Bonpland, traveling to Marseille and then Madrid.

There they met Don Mariano Luis de Urquijo, a Spanish minister who asked them to explore the Spanish American territory and also sponsored their journey.

They traveled around Latin America from 1799 to 1804, visiting Pizarro, Tenerife, and Cumana, and Alexander made maps of a huge stretch of the Orinco River within a year of their arrival.

They then traveled to Ecuador and Lima, Peru, to complete their journey. Alexander is the discoverer of the Peruvian current, which is also known as the ‘Homboldt Current.’

During his travels through the American continents, he witnessed the transit of the planet Mercury and learned about the fertilizing properties of guano, the feces of a seabird. During the journey, these explorers also discovered the eels’ electrical properties.

He traveled to the United States after completing this long and experimental tour and paid a visit to President Thomas Jefferson, who was also a scientist. He spent valuable time with the president, and they both learned from each other.

Following his brief stint in the White House, he traveled to Europe. He moved to Paris and spent the next twenty-three years of his life there. From 1804 through 1827, he was occupied with producing scientific articles about his discoveries made during his voyages through American regions. During this time, he released around thirty volumes of similar works.

Alexander eventually ran out of the wealth he had inherited from his mother, so he became an advisor to the Prussian King in order to make a livelihood.

He moved to Berlin in 1827 and began giving public talks, which garnered him worldwide acclaim. He eventually resolved to write down all of his experiences over the years and impart his knowledge of the soil and environment, and he began work on his most important work.

The first volume of the book, named ‘Kosmos,’ was completed in 1945. This was one of this naturalist’s most significant contributions to the field of earth science. The book’s additional volumes were published over the years.

Major Projects of Alexander von Humboldt

His book ‘Kosmos’ is considered one of his best works, as it contains all of his natural science expertise. Throughout his life, he gathered a great deal of data and argued that all physical sciences, such as meteorology, biology, and geology, are interconnected.

Personal History and Legacy

His personal life is shrouded in mystery, as he is said to have burned all of his personal letters.
He had collected some riches, and a few years before his death, he gave it all to his domestic worker Seifert.
This illustrious naturalist died on the 6th of May, 1859, in Berlin, and is buried at Tegel.

The ‘Humboldt penguin,’ ‘Lilium humboldtii,’ ‘Quercs humboldtii,’ Utricularia humboldtii, Annona humboldtii, Annona humboldtii, Annona humboldtii, Annona humboldtii, Annona humboldtii, Annona humbol
Humboldt Bay, Humboldt River, Pico Humboldt, Humboldt Sink, Sima Humboldt, Humboldt Falls, Hacienda Humboldt, Humboldt Kansas, Humboldt, Illinois, Humboldt Arizona, and Alexander von Humboldt National Forest, Peru are only a few of the geographical features and localities named after him.

‘Mare Humboldtianum lunar mare’ and asteroid 54 Alexandra are two astronomical characteristics named after this eminent geologist. Humboldt is also the name of a number of schools and colleges.

Estimated net worth

The estimated net worth of Alexander von Humboldt is unknown.