Antarctica by David Day

By David Day

For hundreds of years it was once suspected that there needs to be an undiscovered continent within the southern hemisphere, yet explorers did not locate one. On his moment voyage to the Pacific, Captain cook dinner sailed additional south than any of his opponents yet nonetheless did not sight land. He needed to be content material with claiming sub-Antarctic islands for England's King George. It used to be now not till 1820 that the continent's frozen coast used to be eventually sighted. Territorial contention intensified within the 1840s while British, American, and French expeditions sailed south to chart additional parts of the continent that had end up known as Antarctica. For the subsequent centuries, the race to assert specific ownership of Antarctica has gripped the mind's eye of the area. Antarctica: A Biography is the 1st ever significant overseas background of this forbidding continent--from the eighteenth century voyages of discovery to the explorers of the early 20th century, all the way down to the fierce rivalries of this day, as governments, scientists, environmentalists, and oil businesses compete for regulate. On one point it's the tale of explorers fighting the weather within the so much adverse position on the earth as they try for private triumph, advertisement achieve, and nationwide glory. On a deeper point, it's the tale of countries trying to comprise the antarctic into their very own nationwide stories--and to say its frozen wastes as their very own.

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With the summer over, it was becoming too dangerous to linger so far south. Although he had been authorised to sail all the way to Britain to report his findings, Bransfield headed back to Valparaíso, via the northern edge of New South Britain. An attempt was made to perform a third claiming ceremony, but the rocky and wave-dashed coastline made it too dangerous to attempt a landing. So Bransfield headed home, confident of the importance of his discoveries. 20 And they had the seal skins to prove it.

10 The American government of the time was more concerned with extending its existing territory across the continent to the Pacific Ocean than with grabbing inhospitable sub-Antarctic territories, whose animal resources had already been mostly exterminated. Two months after the visits of Powell and Palmer, another patriotic British sealing captain, James Weddell, chanced upon Powell’s Group and named them the South Orkneys, thereby associating them with the nearby South Shetlands and the British-owned Orkneys and Shetlands in the northern hemisphere.

He made no attempt to make a landing, thereby unwittingly passing up the historic opportunity of being the first person to step onto the Antarctic continent. He also eschewed the chance to erect a board displaying the Union Jack, which would have claimed at least that part of the continent for the British Empire. His caution was understandable. After all, Trinity Land could have been just another island, and the often foggy conditions, swirling currents, huge icebergs and half-hidden shoals made close investigation a perilous undertaking.

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