who were the early explorers to the Antarctica?

Explorer of Antarctica

Adventure and Antarctica go together. When Magellan discovered the sought after strait that now bears his name in 1520, he saw land to the south. In the night, the land glowed with the campfires of the natives. He named it Fireland, or Tierra del Fuego. He mistook it for a part of the Southern continent. Captain James Cook sailed right round the Antarctic Circle three times without ever sighting the continent. Finally, he skillfully steered ' Resolution', the 462 tonne ship through stormy seas on to the pack ice. He was about 240 kms off the Antarctic coast, but he did not know it.

In 1819, Czar Alexander I sent an expedition south under Captain Fabian Gottlieb von Bellinghausen. The captain circled the Antarctic, and discovered Peter I Island, but the czar was not satisfied. the continent was first sighted by Captain Nathaniel Palmer, a Connecticut sealer, or seal catcher. He sighted land south of Cape Horn in 1820. This is part of the Antarctic continent, but Palmer did not know it at that time. Now it is known as Palmer Peninsula although a rival British whaling captain claimed to have discovered it months before Palmer did. The long lost continent had been finally been found.

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