Posts tagged explorer.

On January 9, 1909, Sir Ernest Shackleton and the members of his first Antarctic expedition (the Nimrod Expedition) were forced to turn back from becoming the first explorers to reach the South Pole. Even so, they reached a latitude of 88° 23′ S, the southernmost point of any exploration at the time. The team planted the Union Jack at this site to commemorate their achievement.

The above photo was taken by Shackleton, who was later knighted by King Edward VII upon their return home. Said Shackleton of his efforts:

"I seemed to vow to myself that some day I would go to the region of ice and snow and go on and on till I came to one of the poles of the earth, the end of the axis upon which this great round ball turns."

September 25, 1513: Conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa reaches the Pacific Ocean.

Before embarking on his expedition across the Isthmus of Panama, Balboa was the governor of Santa Maria de la Antigua, a colony he helped found in 1510. In September 1513, he led a large group of Spaniards and Indians to cross the dense and dangerous rainforests of Panama in order to reach the Pacific.

On September 25, Balboa and his party became the first Europeans to look upon this ocean, which he named Mar del Sur (“South Sea”), later to be renamed Mar Pacifico by Magellan. Upon sighting it, Balboa immediately claimed the ocean (and all lands touching it) to be the property of the Spanish empire.