Photo: Library of Congress
A little over 100 years ago, Robert Scott led a privately funded British expedition to travel the Arctic to become the first people to successfully reach the South Pole.Scott, who had previously been a senior member on another Arctic expedition, was chosen to lead a group of 65 men who used the Terra Nova supply ship to guide them on the initial portion of the journey. Because of the name of the ship, Scott’s mission has been historically referred to as the Terra Nova Expedition.
Scott was not the only group looking to be the first to reach the South Pole. A Norwegian group with Roald Amundsen at the helm was travelling on the other side of the Arctic down to the South Pole at the same time.
Scott’s crew successfully reached the South Pole on January 12, 1912, but were ultimately beaten by Amundsen’s crew by over a month. Supplies were low for the trip back north and temperatures were beyond frigid. Scott and his crew did not make it and a search party found Scott’s frozen body in November 1912.
The Terra Nova remained in service until 1943, when it sank off the coast of Greenland. That legendary ship was recently discovered and its wreckage was filmed by the Schmidt Ocean Institute last month.
Here we chronicle Scott’s fateful journey.
Robert Scott, the veteran of a previous Antarctic expedition, was tabbed by private investors to lead a journey to be the first group to successfully reach the South Pole.
Scott and his carefully selected 65 member crew used a supply ship called the SS Terra Nova and carried an incredibly large amount of supplies.
Even ponies were brought along to ensure that Scott and his crew would be the first people to ever reach the South Pole.
Those dogs which were transported on the Terra Nova were used to traverse the frozen Arctic terrain.
Heavy layers of clothing were a necessity for the expedition, as temperatures regularly went to 30 and 40 degrees below zero.
Scott and his crew reached the South Pole on January 18, 1912, only to see a Norwegian flag already planted by Roald Amundsen's crew. Scott was ultimately beaten to the spot by 33 days.
Despite being beat to the location, it's quite an accomplishment and the crew celebrated accordingly.
The trip back from the South Pole was incredibly difficult and unforgiving. Supplies ran low and key crew members began to die.
Scott and key crew members are believed to have died on March 30, 1912, a day after Scott's final diary entry.
A search party was sent out on October 29, and Scott's frozen body was found on November 12, 1912. The Terra Nova remained in service until it sank in 1943.
The Terra Nova was discovered last month off the southern coast of Greenland and the Schmidt Ocean Institute took a camera underwater to document the wreckage.
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