Antarctica

Erich von Drygalski’s Antarctic Expeditions

Erich von Drygalski’s Antarctic Expeditions

On February 9, 1865, German geographer, geophysicist and polar scientist Erich Dagobert von Drygalski was born. Drygalski discovered a volcano, free of ice, on the Antarctic continent. He named it Gaussberg, after the name of his research ship Gauss in which he led the German South Polar Expedition (1901-03). Background Erich von Drygalski Erich von Drygalski was born in Köningsberg, East Prussia. At age 17, Drygalski began to study mathematics and natural science at…
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Fabian von Bellingshausen and the Discovery of Antarctica

Fabian von Bellingshausen and the Discovery of Antarctica

On January 25, 1852, Baltic German officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, cartographer and explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen passed away. He was a notable participant of the first Russian circumnavigation and subsequently a leader of another circumnavigation expedition, which discovered the continent of Antarctica. He is remembered in Russia as one if its greatest admirals and explorers, and multiple geographical features and locations in the Antarctic, named in honor of Bellingshausen, remind of…
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Amundsen’s South Pole Expedition

Amundsen’s South Pole Expedition

On December 14, 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his expedition were the first to reach the geographic south pole, only five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott. Roald Amundsen Background Already during his childhood, Roald Amundsen was interested in the stories of discoverer and explorers. Especially travels to the polar regions fascinated him so much that he put himself into conditions like in polar areas as…
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Robert Scott’s Last Expedition

Robert Scott’s Last Expedition

On November 12, 1912, the frozen bodies of Robert Falcon Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Robert F. Scott was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13. During this second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, only to…
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Ernest Shackleton and his South Pole Expeditions

Ernest Shackleton and his South Pole Expeditions

On 9 January 1909, British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton and three companions reached a new Farthest South latitude of 88° 23′ S, a point only 180 km from the South Pole and were forced to return to McMurdo Sound in a race against starvation. “The outstanding feature of today’s march is that we have seen new land to the South never seen by human eyes before great snow clad heights [which] we did…
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Charles Wilkes and the Exploring Expedition of 1838

Charles Wilkes and the Exploring Expedition of 1838

On April 3, 1789, American Naval officer and explorer Charles Wilkes was born. Wilkes led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, on which he determined that Antarctica (which Wilkes so named) is a continent. He also commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War (1861–1865), where he attacked a Royal Mail Ship, almost leading to war between the US and the UK. Charles Wilkes and the U.S. Exploring…
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Laurence Gould’s geological Exploration of Antarctica

Laurence Gould’s geological Exploration of Antarctica

On August 22, 1896, American geologist, educator, and polar explorer Laurence McKinley Gould was born. Gould was the first geologist to reach the interior of the Antarctic continent. He travelled to the Queen Maud Mountains, making geological and glaciological surveys. Laurence Gould was born in Lacota, Michigan. After completing high school in South Haven, Michigan in 1914 he began teaching while saving money for college. He managed to enroll at the University of Michigan two…
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Sir Edmund Hillary – Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist

Sir Edmund Hillary – Mountaineer, Explorer and Philanthropist

On July 20, 1919, New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist Sir Edmund Percival “Ed” Hillary was born. Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. As part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition he reached the South Pole overland in 1958. He subsequently reached the North Pole, making him the first person to reach both poles and summit Everest. Following his…
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Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

On February 11, 1908, British geologist and explorer Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs was born. Fuchs initiated and led together with Sir Edmund Hillary [5,6] the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1957-58, which completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958. Vivian Fuchs – Education and first Expeditions Vivian Fuchs was born in 1908 in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, the son of the German immigrant Ernst Fuchs from the Jena area and of his British wife…
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James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

On February 2, 1841, British Polar explorer James Clark Ross with the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror reached a Southern latitude of 78° 10′ in Antarctica, when the expedition was forced to redraw because of a barrier of ice. The Ross expedition discovered the Ross Sea, Victoria Land, and the volcanoes Mount Erebus and Mount Terror, which were named for the expedition’s vessels. First Experiences in the Arctic James Clark Ross…
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