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South Pole
Scott of the Antarctic (1868 - 1912)

"Scott of the Antarctic" is the most famous of all the Polar explorers.
Scott reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912

image: Scott and party
left to right — Lt. Henry (Birdie) Bowers, Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson.
Seated, left to right — Petty Officer (PO) Edgar Evans, Capt. Lawrence (Titus) Oates.

By the late 19th century, Antarctica was the last unexplored continent on earth. Only sealers and whalers had set foot on the desolate southern land. In 1910 Scott embarked on an Antarctic expedition, with the aim of being the first man to reach the South Pole. The 2964 km (1842 mile) trek was the longest continuous sledge journey ever made in the polar regions.

Where is the South Pole?

The South Pole is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole. It is situated on the continent of Antarctica and is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the surface.

image: antartica

What is Antarctica?

Antarctica is an enormous continent. It is about 50 times bigger than the UK. More than 99% of Antarctica is covered by ice. In places, this ice is more than three miles thick.

What is the environment like on Antarctica?

It is high, windy and extremely cold. The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was recorded in Antarctica (-129.3ºF). The average winter temperatures range from -40º to -94ºF. Winds are commonly measured at up to 200 miles per hour.

Winter arrives in the Antartica in March.

There is no indigenous human population and no life forms at all except around the coast.

What is the difference between Antarctica and the Arctic?

The Antarctic, the South Pole is located on a continent (land) completely covered by ice.

The Arctic, the North Pole is located in the middle of the ocean.

Who was Robert Scott?

Robert Falcon Scott was a British naval officer and explorer of Antarctica, who died attempting to be the first to reach the South Pole.

Scott was born in Devonport, England, on 6 June 1868. At the age of 14, Scott entered the Royal Navy. In 1900 he was placed in command of the National Antarctic Expedition.

When did Scott and his party reach the South Pole?

Scott reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that a Norwegian party led by Roald Amundsen, had beaten them there. They started the 1,500 km journey back. Evans died in mid-February. By March, Oates was suffering from severe frostbite and, knowing he was holding back his companions, walked out into the freezing conditions never to be seen again. The remaining three men died of starvation and exposure in their tent on 29 March 1912. They were in fact only 20 km (11 miles) from a pre-arranged supply depot.

Who was the first person to reach the South Pole?

The first humans to reach the South Pole were Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, and the four men with him: Sverre Hassel, Helmer Hanssen, Oscar Wisting, and Olav Bjaaland. They reached the South Pole on 17 December 1911.

Petty Officer Edgar Evans died from a fall; Captain Lawrence Oates sacrificed his life, hoping thus to save his comrades; Henry R. Bowers, Dr. Edward Wilson, and Scott perished of starvation and exposure on March 29, 1912, within 18 km (11 MI) of a supply depot.

After Scott, the next visit to the South Pole ...

After Scott's party left the pole in 1912, no humans set foot there until 1956, when a U.S. Navy R4D (DC-3) landed and took off after about 15 minutes on the ground.

On this Day also

17 January - World Religion Day
Annually the third Sunday in January. The aim of World Religion Day is to help people understand religions other than their own. It hopes to promote understanding and harmony by focusing on the things that are common to all religions - such as love, forgiveness, treating others with respect and protecting our world.


Multifaith Calendar

World Religions for Kids


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