PHILOSOPHERS´ ISLAND, one of several high islands near Tierra del Fuego. The architecture on this island is remarkable. The Philosophers build vast edifices (called “systems”) starting with the ridge-piece on the roof, which is usually highly elaborate. However, while they wait for the foundation to be laid the building generally collapses, killing the architect.
The Philosophers spend their time in curious occupations: weighing air, comparing two drops of water and trying to find definitions – that is, trying to replace one word by several others that mean the same.
The island is always covered with snow; the roads are difficult and it is easy to lose one´s way.
(Abbé Pierre Francois Guyot Desfontaines, Le Nouveau Gulliver, ou Voyage De Jean Gulliver, Fils Du Capitaine Gulliver. Traduit don Manuscrit Anglois.Par Monsieur L.D.F., Paris, 1730)