Quiz: Explorers & Adventurers
At the other end of the world, Captain Robert Scott raced to become the first person to reach the South Pole. Unfortunately, he was thirty-five days too late, and on the return journey he and his entire expedition perished. Who beat him to the South Pole?
- The Norwegian explorer Admunsen was first; poor Scott's legacy is as a principled, extraordinarily brave also-ran.
Sent on a rescue mission to Africa to find the explorer David Livingstone, journalist Henry Morton Stanley eventually tracked him down and issued the famous greeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Later Stanley continued in Livingstone's footsteps, on a quest to find what?
- Both Livingstone and Stanley failed in their quest. Finally, John Hanning Speke was able to successfully identify the Nile's source Lake Victoria.
The body found on Mount Everest in May 1999 was that of
- Mallory and Irvine died on Everest in 1924. An expedition in May 1999 found Mallory's body at 27,000 feet on the North side of the mountain.
Which of these men became the first to climb the north face of the Eiger, managed to escape from a POW camp, was one of the first Westerners to enter the forbidden kingdom of Tibet, and became a life-long friend of the Dalai Lama?
- Harrar was portrayed by Brad Pitt in 1997's Seven Years in Tibet.
The epitome of the American frontiersman, this folk hero took a break from fighting battles, claiming new territory, and embellishing his own mythic persona to serve two terms in the U.S. Congress.
- Daniel Boone served as a state representative in the Virginia legislature, but Crockett went all the way to Washington as a U.S. Representative from Tennessee. Kit Carson, on the other hand, stayed out of politics, working instead as a teamster, cook, guide, hunter, Indian fighter, and eventual general.
Which of these writers and African adventurers was also a professional pilot?
- Markham's memoir about her life as an African bush pilot, West with the Night, received modest attention when it was first published in 1942, but when it was reissued in 1983 it became a publishing phenomenon, generating huge interest in colonial Africa.
After Frederick Cook was discredited as the first person to reach the North Pole, which explorer was credited? (That is, if we ignore evidence from the 1990s that he too may have fabricated his claim.)
Where did Christopher Columbus believe he had landed in 1492?
- Though the "landfall controversy" is contested among scholars, Watling's Island is considered by most to be the original landing place of Christopher Columbus.
Who was the first mountain climber to summit all fourteen of the world's 8,000-meter peaks without the use of supplemental oxygen?
- Only five climbers thus far have summited all 14 8,000-meter peaks. In addition to holding this record, Messner was the first climber to summit Everest without oxygen, and the first to climb Everest solo.
What adventurer dropped out of Amherst College, went on an expedition bordering the Arctic Circle, and returned to become a pioneer the frozen food industry?
- Birdseye started with fish and worked his way up to peas.