List of Antarctic expeditions

Last updated

Terra Australis
Typus Orbis Terrarum drawn by Abraham Ortelius.jpg
Terra Australis is the large continent on the bottom of this 1570 map.

This list of Antarctic expeditions is a chronological list of expeditions involving Antarctica. Although the existence of a southern continent had been hypothesized as early as the writings of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD, the South Pole was not reached until 1911.

Antarctica Polar continent in the Earths southern hemisphere

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of Australia. At 0.00008 people per square kilometre, it is by far the least densely populated continent. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Terra Australis fictional continent

Terra Australis was a hypothetical continent first posited in antiquity and which appeared on maps between the 15th and 18th centuries. The existence of Terra Australis was not based on any survey or direct observation, but rather on the idea that continental land in the Northern Hemisphere should be balanced by land in the Southern Hemisphere. This theory of balancing land has been documented as early as the 5th century on maps by Macrobius, who uses the term Australis on his maps.

Ptolemy 2nd-century Greco-Egyptian writer and astronomer

Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, geographer and astrologer. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, under the rule of the Roman Empire, had a Latin name, which several historians have taken to imply he was also a Roman citizen, cited Greek philosophers, and used Babylonian observations and Babylonian lunar theory. The 14th-century astronomer Theodore Meliteniotes gave his birthplace as the prominent Greek city Ptolemais Hermiou in the Thebaid. This attestation is quite late, however, and there is no other evidence to confirm or contradict it. He died in Alexandria around AD 168.


Pre-exploration theories

Spherical Earth idea that the Earth is spherical

The earliest documented mention of the spherical Earth concept dates from around the 5th century BC, when it was mentioned by ancient Greek philosophers. It remained a matter of speculation until the 3rd century BC, when Hellenistic astronomy established the spherical shape of the Earth as a physical fact and calculated the Earth's circumference. The paradigm was gradually adopted throughout the Old World during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. A practical demonstration of Earth's sphericity was achieved by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano's circumnavigation (1519–1522).

North Pole Northern point where the Earths axis of rotation intersects its surface

The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.

South Pole Southern point where the Earths axis of rotation intersects its surface

The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of Earth and lies on the opposite side of Earth from the North Pole.

Pre-19th century

Ui-te-Rangiora is believed to have been a 7th-century Polynesian navigator from the island of Rarotonga. According to Māori legend, Ui-te-Rangiora sailed south and encountered ice floes and icebergs in the Southern Ocean. He called this area of southern ocean Tai-uka-a-pia due to the ice floes being similar to arrowroot powder. It is also claimed by some that Ui-te-Rangiora reached the Ross Ice Shelf, although he did not land on it.

Auckland Islands A volcanic archipelago of New Zealands subantarctic islands

The Auckland Islands are an archipelago of New Zealand, lying 465 kilometres (290 mi) south of the South Island. The main Auckland Island, occupying 510 km2 (200 sq mi), is surrounded by smaller Adams Island, Enderby Island, Disappointment Island, Ewing Island, Rose Island, Dundas Island, and Green Island, with a combined area of 626 km2 (240 sq mi). The islands have no permanent human inhabitants.

Gonçalo Coelho was a Portuguese explorer who belonged to a prominent family in northern Portugal. He commanded two expeditions which explored much of the coast of Brazil.

19th century

Expeditions in Antarctica before the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, 1897 Expeditions in Antarctica before 1897.png
Expeditions in Antarctica before the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, 1897
<i>San Telmo</i> (ship)

San Telmo was a Spanish 74-gun ship of the line, launched in 1788.

Drake Passage body of water between South America and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica

The Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces—Sea of Hoces—is the body of water between South America's Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean.

Livingston Island Island of the South Shetland Islands

Livingston Island is an Antarctic island in the Southern Ocean, part of the South Shetlands Archipelago. It was the first land discovered south of 60° south latitude in 1819, a historic event that marked the end of a centuries-long pursuit of the mythical Terra Australis Incognita and the beginning of the exploration and utilization of real Antarctica. The name Livingston, although of unknown derivation, has been well established in international usage since the early 1820s.

20th century

<i>Discovery</i> Expedition research expedition

The DiscoveryExpedition of 1901–04, known officially as the British National Antarctic Expedition, was the first official British exploration of the Antarctic regions since the voyage of James Clark Ross sixty years earlier (1839-1843). Organized on a large scale under a joint committee of the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), the new expedition carried out scientific research and geographical exploration in what was then largely an untouched continent. It launched the Antarctic careers of many who would become leading figures in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Robert Falcon Scott who led the expedition, Ernest Shackleton, Edward Wilson, Frank Wild, Tom Crean and William Lashly.

Robert Falcon Scott British explorer, leader of expeditions to the Antarctic

Robert Falcon Scott was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery expedition of 1901–1904 and the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition of 1910–1913. On the first expedition, he set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S and discovered the Antarctic Plateau, on which the South Pole is located. On the second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, less than five weeks after Amundsen's South Pole expedition.

<i>Gauss</i> expedition research expedition

The Gauss expedition of 1901–1903 was the first German expedition to Antarctica. It was led by geologist Erich von Drygalski in the ship Gauss, named after the mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss.

21st century

William Speirs Bruce Scottish marine biologist and antarctic explorer

William Speirs Bruce was a British naturalist, polar scientist and oceanographer who organized and led the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition to the South Orkney Islands and the Weddell Sea. Among other achievements, the expedition established the first permanent weather station in Antarctica. Bruce later founded the Scottish Oceanographical Laboratory in Edinburgh, but his plans for a transcontinental Antarctic march via the South Pole were abandoned because of lack of public and financial support.

Craig Mathieson is a polar explorer who is ‘Explorer-in-Residence’ with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Marek Kamiński Polish explorer and businessman

Marek Kamiński is a Polish Polar explorer, author, entrepreneur and philosopher with over 30 years of exploration experience. Kamiński holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to walk to both the North Pole and the South Pole, without external support, He is also famous for the 2004 Together to the Pole Expedition to both Poles in a single year with disabled teenager Jan Mela.


See also


  1. O'Connor, Tom Polynesians in the Southern Ocean: Occupation of the Auckland Islands in Prehistory in New Zealand Geographic 69 (September–October 2004): 6–8
  2. Anderson, Atholl J., & Gerard R. O'Regan To the Final Shore: Prehistoric Colonisation of the Subantarctic Islands in South Polynesia in Australian Archaeologist: Collected Papers in Honour of Jim Allen Canberra: Australian National University, 2000. 440–454.
  3. Anderson, Atholl J., & Gerard R. O'Regan The Polynesian Archaeology of the Subantarctic Islands: An Initial Report on Enderby Island Southern Margins Project Report. Dunedin: Ngai Tahu Development Report, 1999
  4. Anderson, Atholl J. Subpolar Settlement in South Polynesia Antiquity 79.306 (2005): 791–800
  5. David McGonigalm Antarctica: Secrets of the Southern Continent Frances Lincoln Ltd., 2009 ISBN   0-7112-2980-5 page 288-289
  8. Steger, Will; Bowermaster, Jon (2 March 2010). Crossing Antarctica. ISBN   0897328965.
  9. 1 2 Hoare, James E. (2012). "Antarctic Exploration". Historical Dictionary of Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. p. 44. ISBN   978-0-8108-7987-4.
  11. Brown, Ian (1999). 'Extreme South' Struggles & triumph of the first Australian team to the Pole. Australian Geographic.
  12. No Horizon is so far. Two women and their historic journey across Antarctica. Liv Arnesen, Ann Bancroft & Cheryl Dahle. Penguin Books.
  13. Brent, Michel. "Polar Challenges / UK / Expeditions / Arctic Expeditions – Archives".
  14. Archived 8 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine , 2005. Retrieved on 2008-10-14[ self-published source ]
  15., Transantarctica 2005–06 at Tierras Polares Archived 7 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. Aislinn Simpson (29 December 2006), "Woman treks alone to South Pole in 39 days", The Guardian , retrieved 12 March 2013
  17. Jardine, Ray. "Skiing to the South Pole in 59 days : Ray & Jenny Jardine".
  18. Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine [ self-published source ]
  19. Conor J. Ryan Joys and Hardships of Antarctic Fieldwork, retrieved 2011 Aug 24
  20. Martin, Peter (December 2011), "Todd Carmichael, American", Esquire: 202, retrieved 13 March 2013
  21. [ self-published source ]
  22. Moon Regan transantarctic crossing [ self-published source ]
  23. "ExWeb interview Sebastian Copeland and Eric McNair-Landry (part 1/2): The battle of body and gear across 2 South Poles".
  24. [ BSAE 2012 – Spirit of Scott[ self-published source ]
  25. "Inuit WindSled".
  26. "Long Day's Journey into White | Adventure". Reader's Digest Asia. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  27. Michael Warren. "First woman to cross Antarctica solo sets two records". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  28. "British adventurer Felicity Aston caps first ski crossing of Antarctica by woman". ESPN. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  29. " Antarctic Tears: Determination, adversity, and the pursuit of a dream at the bottom of the world eBook: Aaron Linsdau: Kindle Store".
  30. "The Push Documentary – A Film About Overcoming Adversity With Love". Push.
  31. "Sit-skier Grant Korgan has pushed his way across Antarctica".
  32. PRESS, THE ASSOCIATED. "Paralyzed Nevada man Grant Korgan reaches South Pole  – NY Daily News".
  33. "Paralyzed athlete Grant Korgan achieves polar goal". 29 January 2012.
  34. "Korg Movement – Choose Positivity Now". Korg Movement.
  35. Shackleton Epic, archived from the original on 9 May 2019, retrieved 29 September 2019[ self-published source ]
  36. "The Scott Expedition".
  37. "Willis Resilience Expedition".
  38. Explorersweb (13 January 2011). "Breaking news: Christian Eide bags the South Pole solo speed ski world record". Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  39. "Explorer dies in Antarctic crossing". 3 December 2018 via
  40. "SPEAR17". Louis Rudd MBE. 1 April 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  41. "一括査定を活用してバイクの買取を依頼するメリットとデメリット".
  42. "Mike Horn a dompté l'Antarctique en solitaire – L'illustré". 13 February 2017.
  43. "O'Brady's Antarctic Crossing: Was It Really Unassisted?". Explorersweb. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  44. January 2019, Maria Dombrov22 (22 January 2019). "An Impossible First: Colin O'Brady Completes Solo Trek Across Antarctica – GlacierHub %". GlacierHub. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  45. "Explorer completes historic Antarctic trek". Exploration & Adventure. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  46. "Second explorer completes Antarctic crossing". Exploration & Adventure. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  47. "Antarctica 2018–2019: Final Recap". Explorersweb. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  48. "Saildrone Completes First Autonomous Circumnavigation of Antarctica". Retrieved 5 August 2019.

Related Research Articles

Transport in Antarctica has transformed from explorers crossing the isolated remote area of Antarctica by foot to a more open era due to human technologies enabling more convenient and faster transport, predominantly by air and water, as well as land. Transportation technologies on a remote area like Antarctica need to be able to deal with extremely low temperatures and continuous winds to ensure the travelers' safety. Due to the fragility of the Antarctic environment, only a limited amount of transport movements can take place and sustainable transportation technologies have to be used to reduce the ecological footprint. The infrastructure of land, water and air transport needs to be safe and sustainable. Currently thousands of tourists and hundreds of scientists a year depend on the Antarctic transportation system.

History of Antarctica Past events regarding the continent of Antarctica

The history of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD.

Beardmore Glacier glacier in Antarctica

The Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica is one of the largest valley glaciers in the world, being 200 km (125 mi) long and having a width of 40 km (25 mi). It descends about 2,200 m (7,200 ft) from the Antarctic Plateau to the Ross Ice Shelf and is bordered by the Commonwealth Range of the Queen Maud Mountains on the eastern side and the Queen Alexandra Range of the Central Transantarctic Mountains on the western.

Ernest Shackleton was a British polar explorer.

Berkner Island Ice rise in the British Antarctic Territory, Antarctica

Berkner Island is an Antarctic ice rise, where bedrock below sea level has caused the surrounding ice sheet to create a dome. If the ice cap were removed, the island would be under water. Berkner Island is completely ice-covered and is about 320 kilometres (200 mi) long and 150 kilometres (93 mi) wide, with an area of 44,000 km2 (17,000 sq mi). It is surrounded by the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. The northernmost point of the Berkner is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the open sea. It lies in the overlapping portion of the Argentine and the British Antarctic territorial claims.

Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) of 1955–1958 was a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole. It was the first expedition to reach the South Pole overland for 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen's expedition and Scott's expedition in 1911 and 1912.

Bay of Whales Bay

The Bay of Whales was a natural ice harbor, or iceport, indenting the front of Ross Ice Shelf just north of Roosevelt Island, Antarctica. It is the southernmost point of open ocean not only of the Ross Sea, but worldwide. The Ross Sea extends much further south—as far as the Gould Coast, some 200 miles (320 km) from the South Pole—but most of that area is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf rather than open sea.

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition Research expedition to Antarctica

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914–1917 is considered to be the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Conceived by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition was an attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. After Amundsen's South Pole expedition in 1911, this crossing remained, in Shackleton's words, the “one great main object of Antarctic journeyings”. The expedition failed to accomplish this objective, but became recognized instead as an epic feat of endurance.

Alistair Mackay British doctor

Alistair Mackay was a Scottish doctor and polar explorer. He was one of the trio of explorers, along with Douglas Mawson and Professor Edgeworth David, that became the first humans to reach the South Magnetic Pole.

Børge Ousland Norwegian polar explorer, photographer and writer

Børge Ousland FRSGS is a Norwegian polar explorer, photographer and writer. He was the first person in the world to do a solo crossing of the Antarctic.

Cecilie Skog Norwegian mountain climber

Cecilie Skog is a Norwegian adventurer. She studied and worked as a nurse, but since summiting Mount Everest in 2004, she has worked as a professional adventurer, guide and lecturer.

Scott Glacier (Transantarctic Mountains)

The Scott Glacier is a major glacier, 120 miles (190 km) long, that drains the East Antarctic Ice Sheet through the Queen Maud Mountains to the Ross Ice Shelf. The Scott Glacier is one of a series of major glaciers flowing across the Transantarctic Mountains, with the Amundsen Glacier to the west and the Leverett and Reedy glaciers to the east.

Shackleton Coast portion of the coast along the west side of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Shackleton Coast is that portion of the coast along the west side of the Ross Ice Shelf between Cape Selborne and Airdrop Peak at the east side of Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica. Named by New Zealand Antarctic Place-Names Committee (NZ-APC) in 1961 after Sir Ernest Shackleton. He accompanied Scott on the southern journey during the Discovery expedition (1901–04) and subsequently led three Antarctic expeditions. On the British Antarctic Expedition (1907–09), Shackleton discovered the area beyond Shackleton Inlet to the Beardmore Glacier, and was the first to find a practicable route to the South Pole. Lack of food stopped him 97 miles (180 km) from his goal.

Farthest South A record held for most Southerly latitude reached, before the South Pole itself was reached.

Farthest South refers the most southerly latitude reached by explorers before the conquest of the South Pole in 1911. Significant steps on the road to the pole were the discovery of lands south of Cape Horn in 1619, Captain James Cook's crossing of the Antarctic Circle in 1773, and the earliest confirmed sightings of the Antarctic mainland in 1820. From the late 19th century onward, the quest for Farthest South latitudes became in effect a race to reach the pole, which culminated in Roald Amundsen's success in December 1911.

Eric PhilipsOAM is an Australian polar explorer, adventurer and polar guide.

Arctic Trucks

Arctic Trucks is an international company founded in Iceland and with operations in the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Poland, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Arctic Trucks specialise in the re-engineering of four wheel drive vehicles to allow them to be used in challenging conditions.

The Willis Resilience Expedition is a scientific and exploratory program taking place in Antarctica from November 2013 to January 2014, with goals of gaining a better understanding of the Earth's changing climate and weather-related risk. Announced in August 2013, the Expedition will be led by Parker Liautaud, a teenage polar adventurer and environmental campaigner, and fellow explorer Douglas Stoup. The expedition is being underwritten by Willis Group, a global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker.

Ryan Waters is considered to be the premier guide in the world who is equally versed in leading High Altitude mountain climbing and Polar Ski expeditions. To date he has guided clients more than 50 times to the summit of the various 7 summit peaks.

Henry Worsley (explorer) British explorer and British Army officer

Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Edward Henry Worsley, was a British explorer and British Army officer. He was part of the successful 2009 expedition that retraced Ernest Shackleton's footsteps in the Antarctic.


Further reading