100 Years Ago In Antarctica

Wednesday May 11, 2011 | 4:32 AM words: 221

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In 1911, Australian geologist Douglas Mawson and his team of scientists and adventurers departed from Hobart for a three year odyssey into the unknown regions of Antarctica.The journey was not an easy one. The team endured winds of up to 200 mph and near constant blizzards. The plane they had transported for aerial exploration was destroyed upon it’s first flight, and therefore most of their pilgrimage was conducted on foot or sled.

Dwindling provisions meant they were forced to eat dog meat, and all members of the team suffered from various degrees of ill health. The worst hit was Swiss explorer Xavier Mertz, who entered a deep depression, followed by delirium and then death by Hypervitaminosis A.The final 100 miles of the journey was conducted by Mawson alone. When he returned to base camp, his ship home had left only a few short hours before. This meant that Mawson (and a few team members who remained to look for him) remained for another year on the icy continent before finally returning to Australia.

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