The Third Explorer at the South Pole

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Dawn

The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by Dawn » 20 Jan 2012, 15:47

From New Scientist :

Japan also had a heroic explorer dashing to the South Pole 100 years ago – and he did it on a shoestring

FOR a few weeks in January 1912, Antarctica was teeming with explorers. Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian party had reached the South Pole on 14 December and were speeding back to the coast. On 17 January, Robert Scott and the men of the British Antarctic expedition had arrived at the pole to find they had been beaten to it. Dejected, they began to retrace their steps in what turned out to be their final journey. Just then, a third man with polar aspirations arrived on the scene. Nobu Shirase was a little late but no less determined to cover himself in glory.

In the story of the race to the South Pole, Shirase is the invisible man. A Japanese explorer, his part in one of the greatest adventure stories of the 20th century is hardly known outside his own country. Yet as Scott was nearing the pole and with the world still unaware of Amundsen's triumph, Shirase and the Japanese Antarctic expedition sailed into Antarctica's Bay of Whales in the smallest ship ever to try its luck in these perilous waters. On 19 January 1912, the little wooden schooner sailed up to the edge of the Ross ice shelf and left Shirase and his men to scale the immense wall of ice ready for a daring dash south.

The rest of the article is available on the NS Website. An incredible story and maybe history would have been changed quite a lot!

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Dreamweaver
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Re: The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by Dreamweaver » 20 Jan 2012, 16:04

I would expect he's famous in Japan - I know they named an icebreaker ship after him. The Australian Museum has a photo of him - http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Li ... bu-Shirase. I see that he died in 1946 - not all that long ago.
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donander
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Re: The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by donander » 20 Jan 2012, 17:26

Learn a new thing every day .... interesting story. Thanks Dawn. :handgestures-thumbsupright:
The last interglacial had less ice, higher sea levels, and warmer temperatures than this one. So, according to the evidence so far, human activity must have a COOLING effect.

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godfather
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Re: The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by godfather » 20 Jan 2012, 20:19

Very interesting, yet kept from public view for such a long time.
One wonders why?

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Teddy
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Re: The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by Teddy » 22 Jan 2012, 17:42

Mawson's last survivor,Dr Alf howard AM,died a little over a year ago in Brisbane at the age of 104.

Dawn

Re: The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by Dawn » 22 Jan 2012, 18:16

Fame sure is fickle, isn't it Teddy? He must have had an incredible time on that trip though. What a great age for memories!

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Teddy
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Re: The Third Explorer at the South Pole

Post by Teddy » 23 Jan 2012, 08:05

He went twice Dawn, both the 1929 & 1930 expeditions. :biggrin:

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