The Sea, The Sea
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2. Legends claim that this place was first named as 'Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka', or the 'Little piece of land of Hau Maka'. Another name, 'Mata-ki-Te-rangi', means 'Eyes that talk to the sky'. Yet another hypothesis is that it was called 'Te pito o te henua', or 'The Navel of the World' due to its isolation. It is 3,510 km west of continental Chile at its nearest point and 2,075 km east of Pitcairn (Sala y Gomez, 415 km to the east, is closer but uninhabited). What English name do we know this place by?
3. What word for a sailor or militiaman from the Indian subcontinent, especially those employed on European ships from the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th century, comes from the Persian word for a military camp or army, itself derived from 'al-askar', the Arabic word for a guard or soldier? The transformation happened through Goa, where the Portuguese adapted the Persian term to mean an Asian militiaman or seaman.
4. In the folklore of the Orkney Islands, they are known as Selkie Folk. Selkies will occasionally take human form and dance. To do so they have to remove their skin, revealing what appears to be a human underneath. They would also venture onto land for encounters with human women, often unsatisfied ones. Who or what are selkies?
6. Cirolana mercuryi is a species of isopod found on coral reefs off which East African island group? It's named for one of the most famous sons of the place.
7. The Svenska Ostindiska Companiet, founded in Gothenburg in 1731, grew to become the largest trading company in Sweden during the 18th century, until it folded in 1813. What was it called in English?
8. Which fictional character's name was suggested to his creator by the creator's wife, who remarked that it was a "sad English fish"?
10. According to Hindu mythology, what caused the appearance of Lakshmi, several apsaras and Varuni (the creator of alcohol); Kamadhenu, Airavata and Uchhaishravas; Kaustubh, Kalpavriksh and Parijat; the moon that adorns Shiva's head as well as the poison that turned his throat blue; and several other disparate items?
1. Blackbeard the pirate
2. Easter Island
3. Lascar, from 'lashkar', as in Lashkar-e-Toiba
5. The Plimsoll Line, which appears on the side of every British ship and depicts safe loading limits.
6. Zanzibar, where Freddie Mercury was born
7. The Swedish East India Company (every European country seems to have had one!)
8. Captain Haddock
10. Samudra manthan, or the Churning of the Ocean