News

The First Dark Sky Sanctuary in Europe Was Just Named

The sanctuary will be located on a Welsh island called Ynys Enlli.

Photo by Steve Porter, Courtesy of International Dark-Sky Association
Photo by Steve Porter, Courtesy of International Dark-Sky Association
Photo by Steve Porter, Courtesy of International Dark-Sky Association

The first dark sky sanctuary in Europe will be located on Ynys Enlli, an island off the coast of northern Wales, the International Dark-Sky Association announced this week. It was officially certified as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, which makes it the 17th site in the world. The certified sanctuaries are some of the most remote and dark locations and have a fragile ecosystem in need of conservation.

“We are delighted to welcome Ynys Ellis to the growing community of dark sky places worldwide,” said Ruskin Hartley, executive director of the International Dark-Sky Association. “With it, Wales is fast becoming one of the leading nations in protecting dark skies as a precious resource that benefits people and wildlife.”

The island is one of the darkest places in the UK, two miles off of the LlŇ∑n Peninsula. A large mountain sits on the island, further limiting light pollution from any surrounding areas. Today, only a small community of people live on the island, which has a rich history of Celtic and Christian monasteries that have been established since the sixth century.

“Living here, I am always in awe of the island’s beauty ‚Äď and the night sky is very much a part of that. Having secured the certification, we look forward to welcoming visitors here over the coming months and years and sharing with them our unique story,” Mari Huws, one of the Wardens on Ynys Enlli, said in a shared statement. “We knew we lived in a special place, this new status confirms this, with IDSS putting Enlli firmly on the global stage. In a world that’s increasingly being polluted, it’s a privilege to be able to work towards protecting something that is pristine for future generations.”

Light pollution is a major issue not only for natural environments but for humans and animals as well. The preservation of spaces free of artificial light is crucial in conservation efforts. The certification of Bardsey Island Trust will assist in helping the island continue raising awareness locally and internationally and will support conservation efforts in the area.

You can find a Dark Sky location near you and learn more about the program at DarkSky.org.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.

News

Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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