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First Crossing


Captain James Cook and his crew became the first people to cross the Antarctic Circle.

Spotting of land

1819 - 1821

Captain Bellinghausen, a Russian naval officer, spots the first sighting of Antarctica, describing it to be, "an icefield with small hillocks."

Walking on the ice


American sealer, John Davis becomes the first person to set land on Antarctica

Discovery of the Weddell Sea


British whaler, James Weddell, discovers the Weddell Sea (named after him) and travels to the most southerly point in Antarctica.

Naming of Ross Ice Shelf

1840 - 1841

Sir James Clark Ross, British naval officer and scientist sets sail to find the magnetic South Pole with his two ships 'Erebus' and Terror'. They stop by an ice shelf and Ross names it after himself. The search for the pole continues.

Trapped in Pack ice


Adrien de Gerlache and his crew on the 'Belgica' became trapped in pack ice near the Antarctic Peninsula for a year. They became the first people to survive a full Antarctic Winter, while drifting in ice.

Expedition of Failure


Captain Robert Scott, of the U.K., voyages on his first expedition to the South Pole. Accompanied by Enerst Shackleton and Edward Wilson, he covers only 3100 miles and then returns home after suffering from scurvy and blinding snow.

Shackleton's Improvement


Shackleton and his crew surpassed Scott's journey in 1902 in 30 days. After feeling terribly sick, they return home after attempting their expedition.

Finding the Magnetic Pole


Douglas Mawson reaches the South Magnetic Pole

The Race to the South Pole!


Norwegian Explorer, Roald Amundsen, beats Scott in a race to the South Pole. Amundsen reaches the South Pole for the first time.

2nd Place


Captain Scott loses to Amundsen in a race to the South Pole. His team of five people die on the way back to their ship after seeing Amundsen's sign and letters left for Scott. Scott and his team die on the way back to his ship. Their bodies are not found until November.

Crashed into Ice

1915 - 1917

Ernest Shackleton aboard his ship the 'Endurance' set sail for the South Pole to finish the first crossing of Antarctica. Unfortunately, the 'Endurance' crashes into ice. A small group of his men look for a whaling station. The group is eventually rescued in 1917

Flight over the South Pole


US Pilot, Richard Byrd became the first person to fly over the South Pole, with three othe men.

Operation HIGHJUMP


The US Navy sent 4700 men, 13 ships and 23 aircraft over to map the coast and interior of Antarctica.

International Geophysical Year

1957 - 1958

12 nations construct over 60 research stations over Antarctica. It marked the beggining for international cooperation until the Antarctic Treaty was signed.

The Signing of the Antarctic Treaty


The Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations, who promised to use Antarctica for peaceful purposes and scientific reasearch only.