Antarctic Exploration Quiz
Who was the first person to actually set foot on Antarctica itself in 1821?
- Davis, who was an American captain, seal hunter, and explorer, set foot on Antarctica as the first human being to do so.
What was the name of the ice shelf along Antarctica's Princess Martha Coast that was discovered by Captain von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev in the 1820 Russian expedition?
- Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev found the modern Fimbul Ice Shelf in January 1820, the first Antarctic land discovery.
Which naval captain was the first to cross the Antarctic Circle with his crew in 1773?
- Though the crew discovered islands near Antarctica and crossed the latitude that marks the Antarctic Circle (66°33'49.1" S. of the Equator), they didn't manage to get any farther in the expedition.
What was the early 20th century's period of Antarctic mania referred to, as adventurers competed to be the first person to reach the South Pole?
- Between the late 1800s and the end of the First World War, international efforts to get to the South Pole reached an all-time high.
What landmark did Roald Amundsen's Antarctic venture reach for the first time in 1911?
- Different than the magnetic pole, the geographic South Pole was the goal of Amundsen's efforts as he pushed further into the icy land.
Because of international competition, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen raced with another explorer to the South Pole. What was his competitor's name?
- Scott was the main competitor in the final stretch to the South Pole but ultimately lost when his entire party died and Amundsen reached it on December 14, 1911.
What was the name attributed to the then-speculative landmass to the South, rationalized by navigator Ferdinand Magellan in the 1500s?
- What is now known as Antarctica first appeared on a 16th-century map by the cartographer Ortelius, with the Latin phrase meaning "Southern Land Unknown".
When was the first sighting of Antarctica recorded to have taken place, spotted by Captain von Bellingshausen in 1820?
- Captaining the Russian ships Vostock and Mirnyi, Captain Fabien von Bellingshausen is widely believed to be the first to glimpse the continent at the end of January 1820.
Who spearheaded the expedition to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent's landmass, called the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition?
- Though the party that attempted this crossing has been immortalized as masters of endurance, the expedition was ultimately unsuccessful.
Where did the famed Sir Ernest Shackleton die of a heart attack, in the midst of his mission to explore Antarctica fully?
- Sir Ernest Shackleton is now buried in Grytviken, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, sadly perishing before his Antarctic goal was ultimately fulfilled.