The island is classified as an ET or polar tundra climate on the Köppen-Geiger classification system. It has no tree cover, and there is generally snow on the island during the winter months. The terrain is mountainous, with a central ridge and many fjords and bays along the coast. Additionally, South Georgia is a breeding ground for elephant seals, fur seals, and king penguins.
The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, and was named Roche Island on a number of early maps. It was sighted by a commercial Spanish ship named León operating out of Saint-Malo on 28 June or 29 June 1756.