Arctic explorers through history

From past centuries the Arctic region has been of interest to explorers from around the world wanting to meet new challenges. The fact of knowing a totally cold and distant place, has aroused their interest of discovering something new, something that the world does not have detailed knowledge of.
For the first explorers of past centuries, being the first to touch virgin land and being able to name it, was their greatest ambition, therefore, some of them self-appointed themselves the number one, thus generating controversies and disagreements with other explorers who tried to deny their opponent to then awarded themselves the merit.

William Baffin

Although there are no records of his birth and youth, this English explorer is nowadays one of the most important historical figures in the world who sought to explore the Arctic. In 1612 he made his first trip to Greenland with Captain James Hall, who tragically died in an attack by native Inuit.
Baffin left an important legacy for future generations. He was a mathematical genius who achieved many scientific observations that no one had used. Similarly, by using the lunar cycle, he could decipher many of his uncertainties, which meant something quite surprising and unusual. It is important to note that in 1612 traveling to remote cold arctic zones represented a huge risk, because the navigation equipment of that time was quite primitive compared to nowaday’s.

Sir John Franklin

This English explorer, officer of the Royal Navy, made an expedition to the Arctic in 1845 along with 128 other men, in which none of them would return. Still no one knows exactly what was the actual reason why he and all of his crew perished in the attempt, but there are several theories that include the lack of planning, lack of interest in learning the methods of survival in such a difficult place , lead poisoning and health complications such as hypothermia, tuberculosis and malnutrition.

John Ross

John Ross was a Scottish explorer and naturalist who delved into the mysterious Arctic region in the year 1818 but failed to what had initially planned.
Later in 1829 he made a second attempt in which the boat was caught in the huge blocks of ice, precluding them forward through this form of transport, forcing them to explore on foot. This enabled them to learn more about the Arctic land and way of life of the people who had settled there, the Inuit, who also guided and aided them in their journey.
Incredibly in 1833, thanks to the ice that opened a natural path, they were able get to Lancaster and reach the land of departure.
After the failure of their first attempt, John Ross came to show all findings and experience he had gained , gaining the respect he craved. Finally in 1850 he made a third trip to achieve what Sir John Franklin could not conclude, but again he failed in its objective.

Robert Peary

One of the explorers who generated the most controversy was the American Robert Peary who firmly state to be the first human to discover the North Pole in 1909. At that time he received the highest honors, recognition, respect and prestige, but years later, after other experts carefully studied the issue, this became a controversy full of doubts and inconsistencies, which led to severe criticism and lack of credibility to his work. To this day nothing has been able to be resolved about this discussion and most likely will never happen.

Throughout the years, there have been many explorers who wished to enter remote and pristine arctic areas, but for various reasons not all achieve their goal.
Others, are looking to reach Arctic lands already explored, but in an unusual way, giving a unique value to their expedition. Want to read some examples?

-In 1966 Ralph Plaisted reached the top most part of the Arctic aboard a snowmobile.
– In 1986 Will Steger and seven companions, reached the North Pole in a sleigh led by dogs.
– In 1990 Borge Ousland and Erling Kagge were the first explorer couple to reach the North Pole on skis after a journey of 58 days and 800 km.
Arktika-2007 – was a Russian expedition which first ventured to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean; Anatoly Sagalevich, Yevgeny Chernyaev and Artur Chilingarov were the brave explorers.

After meeting only a fraction of the characters that have desired to step on that region of the planet and achieved so, we can say that our world still holds many mysteries and hidden wonders that not even the most advanced technology could decipher, and one of those places is the North Pole, whose waters are home to undiscovered species and probably, lands that have not been studied in depth and can jealously guard treasures that would provide valuable scientific advances.

Share via