Antarctica Timeline

  • Captain Cook crossed the Antarctic Circle

    Captain Cook crossed the Antarctic Circle
    Captain Cook and his crew became the first people to cross the Antarctic Circle. His Expedition continued to 1775.
  • Fabian Bellinghausen

    Fabian Bellinghausen
    Motivated by Cook’s expedition a voyage led by Russian explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen was the first to glimpse the continent. But the Russian’s ships weren’t strengthened enough to get through the ice, and he couldn’t get any closer.
  • James Davis

    James Davis
    American explorer James Davis and his team were the first to actually reach Antarctica, landing on the shoreline of Hughes Bay. But after that, interest in the Antarctic died down for about 50 years, because hunters had slaughtered so much of the seal population that there was little encouragement to go there.
  • Captain James Weddell

    Captain James Weddell
    Captain James Weddell sailed to 74˚15’S and found the Weddell Ice Sheet and Sea. The Weddell seal got its name during these expeditions.
  • Captain James Clark Ross

    Captain James Clark Ross
    1839-1843 Captain James Clark Ross discovered the coast of Victoria Land, sighted Mount Erebus (which is an active volcano) and found the Ross Sea and Ross Ice Shelf.
  • Charles Wyville Thompson

    Charles Wyville Thompson
    1872-1876 Charles Wyville Thompson studied the ocean depths.
  • Carsten Borchgrevink

    Carsten Borchgrevink
    Carsten Borchgrevink, a Norwegian, led the British Antarctic Expedition, funded by an English publisher. The prime purpose was to determine the magnetic South Pole. He also surveyed the coast of Robertson Bay and collected specimens of birds, fish, seals and penguins. They were the first to use dogs to transport them.
  • Captain Robert Falcon Scott

    Captain Robert Falcon Scott
    Captain Robert Falcon Scott led the National Antarctic Expedition which was partly funded by the Royal Geographic Society under its President Sir Clement Markham. Markham and the RGS declared it ‘an opportunity for research and advancement in scientific knowledge'.The expedition sailed in the specially built Discovery.
  • Otto Nordenskjold

    Otto Nordenskjold
    Otto Nordenskjold a Swedish geologist and five other men undertook the first exploration by sledge.They covered 650 kilometres in the area of Paulet Island. In the meantime their ship was crushed and they were forced to spend two winters in Antarctica until they were rescued by an Argentinean ship.
  • 3 Men on a mission

    3 Men on a mission
    An expedition led by British explorer Robert Scott, Dr. Edward Wilson, and Ernest Shackleton got to within 463 miles of the South Pole. Scurvy, frostbite and a shortage of supplies forced Scott’s team to turn back, and in their desperate struggle to survive, they had to kill and eat their sled dogs.
  • Ernest Shackleton

    Ernest Shackleton
    1907-1909 Ernest Shackleton led the British Antarctic Expedition on the Nimrod to try to reach the South Pole, this time accompanied by Frank Wild, Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams.Illness and hunger forced them to give up just 180km from their destination. They did many studies on penguins and seals.Members of the party were also the first to climb Mount Erebus and to reach the South Magnetic Pole.
  • Roald Amundsen

    Roald Amundsen
    1910-1912 Norwegian Roald Amundsen and four other men were the first to reach the South Pole on 12 December 2011 thanks to a new route that only took them 57 days. Amundsen planted a Norwegian flag and wrote two letters - one for the King of Norway and one for the British Antarctic Expedition team led by Robert F. Scott.
  • Captain Robert Falcon Scott

    Captain Robert Falcon Scott
    1910-1913 Captain Robert Falcon Scott led the British Antarctic Expedition aboard the Terra Nova with the aim of reaching the South Pole as a major and public objective.
  • Wilhelm Filchner

    Wilhelm Filchner
    Wilhelm Filchner led an expedition on board the Deutschland to determine if Antarctica was a continent. He planned to cross Antarctica but failed. However the expedition did discover Luitpold Land and the Filchner Glacier.
  • Caroline Mikkelsen

    Caroline Mikkelsen
    In 1935, Caroline Mikkelsen, wife of a Norwegian whaling captain, became the first known woman to set foot, briefly, in Antarctica.
  • Antarctic Treaty

    Antarctic Treaty
    The Antarctic Treaty was signed.
  • Photogrammetry

    Scientists started using photogrammetry to measure the velocity of glaciers.
  • The Last Dogs

    The Last Dogs
    The last dogs were removed from Antarctica on 22nd February 1994