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Episode 2480             Episode 2482
Episode 2481

Southern Cross Expedition
Sun, 2024-Feb-18 00:07 UTC
Length - 3:15

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Welcome to random Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a random Wikipedia page every day.

The random article for Sunday, 18 February 2024 is Southern Cross Expedition.

The Southern Cross Expedition, otherwise known as the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, was the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the forerunner of the more celebrated journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. The brainchild of the Anglo-Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink, it was the first expedition to over-winter on the Antarctic mainland, the first to visit the Great Ice Barrier—later known as the Ross Ice Shelf—since Sir James Clark Ross's groundbreaking expedition of 1839 to 1843, and the first to effect a landing on the Barrier's surface. It also pioneered the use of dogs and sledges in Antarctic travel.

The expedition was privately financed by the British magazine publisher Sir George Newnes. Borchgrevink's party sailed in the Southern Cross, and spent the southern winter of 1899 at Cape Adare, the northwest extremity of the Ross Sea coastline. Here they carried out an extensive programme of scientific observations, although opportunities for inland exploration were restricted by the mountainous and glaciated terrain surrounding the base. In January 1900, the party left Cape Adare in Southern Cross to explore the Ross Sea, following the route taken by Ross 60 years earlier. They reached the Great Ice Barrier, where a team of three made the first sledge journey on the Barrier surface, during which a new Farthest South record latitude was established at 78° 50′S.

On its return to Britain the expedition was coolly received by London's geographical establishment exemplified by the Royal Geographical Society, which resented the pre-emption of the pioneering Antarctic role they envisaged for the Discovery Expedition. There were also questions about Borchgrevink's leadership qualities, and criticism of the limited extent of scientific results. Thus, despite the number of significant "firsts", Borchgrevink was never accorded the heroic status of Scott or Shackleton, and his expedition was soon forgotten in the dramas which surrounded these and other Heroic Age explorers. However, Roald Amundsen, conqueror of the South Pole in 1911, acknowledged that Borchgrevink's expedition had removed the greatest obstacles to Antarctic travel, and had opened the way for all the expeditions that followed.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:07 UTC on Sunday, 18 February 2024.

For the full current version of the article, see Southern Cross Expedition on Wikipedia.

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Until next time, I'm Brian Standard.


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