Francesco Sauro

2014 Young Laureate, Exploration
Italy, Born 1984

Project Goal

Explore ancient quartzite caves in the table-top mountains of South America

Location: Brazil and Venezuela

For scientist and explorer Francesco Sauro, the table-top mountains – tepuis– of South America have always had a powerful allure. “Not just because they are beautiful, which of course they are,” he says, “but because inside they’re actually a kind of lost world.”

Towering over the savannah and rainforest that straddle south-eastern Venezuela and northern Brazil, the string of quartzite plateaus constitutes one of the globe’s most dramatic landscapes. But it also contains extensive cave structures, which harbour unique geological and biological features that have evolved over millennia in isolation from the surrounding environment.

Other 2014 Young Laureates