explorer

Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Marco Polo – The Great Traveler and Merchant

Around 1254 (according to some sources on September 15, 1254 [1]) Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo was born. He is best known for his journeys to Central Asia and China, narrated in the book “Il Milione” (‘The Book of the Wonders of the World‘). “I have not told half of what I saw.” – Marco Polo, On his death-bed, when urged to retract “some of the seemingly incredible statements he made in his…
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How James Weddell Discovered the Weddell Sea in the Southern Ocean

How James Weddell Discovered the Weddell Sea in the Southern Ocean

On August 24 1787, British sailor, navigator and seal hunter James Weddell was born. He sailed into a region of the Southern Ocean that later became known as the Weddell Sea. Also the Weddell seal was discovered and named in the 1820s during expeditions led by James Weddell. James Weddell – Early Life Not much is known about James Weddell’s early life. He was the son of a Scottish upholsterer who came from Dalserf and…
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Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and the Mount Blanc

Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and the Mount Blanc

On August 3, 1787, Swiss physicist and Alpine traveller Horace-Bénédict de Saussure made the third ascent of the Mount Blanc and determined via scientific measurement Mont Blanc to be the highest mountain in Europe. Horace-Benédict de Saussure – Growing Up in the Alps Horace Bénédicte de Saussure was born on February 17, 1740 near Geneva, Switzerland. Saussure received encouragement from his father, Nicolas de Saussure, his uncle Charles Bonnet, the naturalist and poet Albrecht von Haller and…
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Salomon August Andrée’s Ill-Fated Arctic Balloon Expedition of 1897

Salomon August Andrée’s Ill-Fated Arctic Balloon Expedition of 1897

On July 13, 1897, the balloon of S. A. Andrée’s Arctic Balloon Expeditions crashed on the pack ice. S. A. Andrée, the first Swedish balloonist, proposed a voyage by hydrogen balloon from Svalbard, Sweden to either Russia or Canada, which was to pass, with luck, straight over the North Pole on the way. Unfortunately, Andrée did not succeed, disregarding the forces of nature in the series of events that led to his death and those of his two companions…
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Joshua Slocum and his first Single-handed Sail around the World

Joshua Slocum and his first Single-handed Sail around the World

On June 27, 1898, the first solo circumnavigation of the globe is completed by Joshua Slocum from Brier Island, Nova Scotia. After more than three years, Slocum returned in his gaff rigged sloop oyster boat named Spray having circumnavigated the world, a distance of more than 74,000 km. The event was almost unnoticed because the Spanish–American War, which had begun two months earlier, dominated all the headlines. Joshua Slocum – Youth and Education…
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Arthur Phillip – Commander of the First Fleet

Arthur Phillip – Commander of the First Fleet

On May 13, 1787, the First Fleet commanded by Captain (later Admiral) Arthur Phillip, left Portsmouth, England, to found a penal colony that became the first European settlement in Australia. Arthur Phillip – Early Years Arthur Phillip was born in the parish of London in 1738 and enrolled at Greenwich School for the sons of seamen. After two years at sea his apprenticeship in the mercantile service was completed and afterwards, he…
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Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

On March 11, 1957, US-American explorer and aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. passed away. A pioneering American aviator he claimed to be the first man to fly over both of the Earth’s poles. Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau.  Richard Evelyn Byrd – Early Years Richard Evelyn Byrd was born in 1888 in Winchester, Virginia, USA,…
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Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

On March 10, 1709, German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller was born. He joined the Russian explorer Vitus Bering on his second expedition to Kamchatka and Alaska, where he discovered numerous new species, as e.g. the Steller‘s sea cow that was named after him. From Theology to Medicine Steller was born as Georg Wilhelm Stöller and grew up in Windsheim, near Nuremberg in Germany, son to a Lutheran cantor…
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Edward Bransfield and the first Sighting of Antarctica

Edward Bransfield and the first Sighting of Antarctica

In January 1820, British Navy officer Edward Bransfield sighted Trinity Peninsula, the northernmost point of the Antarctic mainland. However, the very first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica cannot be accurately attributed to one single person. It can, however, be narrowed down to three individuals, who all sighted the ice shelf or the continent within days or months of each other: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen,[1] a captain in the Russian Imperial Navy; Edward…
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The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society

On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society, one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world, is founded in the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. You might not be aware of it, but several of our past articles already are related to the National Geographic Society, as the society always has supported and funded research projects as well as prominent…
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