SCOTT & The South-Pole


"SCOTT & The South-Pole"

I write of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and in particular of Robert Falcon Scott, a captain in the British Navy and but one of the many who had been "bitten by Pole mania."

Antarctica is one of the seven continents of the world. A continent, which, until modern times, has been totally out of human mind. It is entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the principal oceans of the world. It is a continent with temperatures in the extreme; a continent with mountain ranges complete with glaciers; a continent covered, deep, in ice and snow; a continent devoid of land based mammals; a continent with precious few plants just managing to survive at its edges.1 At the continent's center, more or less, is to be found the geographic South Pole, atop a featureless, windswept, icy plateau at about 800 miles from the nearest open sea.2

It is not likely that the earlier explorers, which we touch upon, had any desire to go to this geographical position on the globe known as the South-Pole, indeed, they probably did not give the matter a thought; just to touch upon the edges of this unexplored continent, was to be a major accomplishment. But of the age of which we write, it was one when the explorers were running out of new places to satisfy their urges.

In this work, we write of the British explorations of the Antarctic, out of which grew this fever to put a man, or men, on the geographical position of the South-Pole; and to be the first nation to do it. To the great disappointment of the brave British men that undertook the effort, they were bested by the Norwegians, who, having landed at a different position at about the same time, made a brilliant dash and beat the British by 35 days. All of the British pole-team of five men, including Scott, died in their efforts.



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Peter Landry
2013 (2015)