Ernest Shackleton and crew head out from Elephant Island in a makeshift
open sea craft. Following a voyage of 16 days they arrived at South Georgia, also in Antarctica.
Determined to reach a whaling station at Stromness, Shackleton and crew set
across the frozen island on foot. Although his expedition failed in its stated
objective, Shackleton considered the trek a success. "The comradeship and
resource of the members...was worthy of the highest traditions of Polar
service," he later declared.
Americans Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett are the first to fly over
the North Pole. The veracity of their feat will later be called into question
and will be the subject of controversial debate for years to come.
Australia's Sir George Hubert Wilkins is the first man to fly over
Operating out of his base, Little America, on the Bay of Whales, Richard
E. Byrd, along with three others, completes a 1600-mile flight over the South
Naturalist and explorer William Beebe and engineer Otis Barton set out
to plunge deeper into the ocean than anyone had ever gone. Through the use of a
bathysphere, Beebe and Barton descended to a record-setting depth of 3,028 feet
off the coast of Bermuda. The record stands for fifteen years before Barton
himself breaks it.
Norwegian scientist and explorer, Thor Heyerdahl, sets out to cross the
Pacific Ocean in boat made of balsa logs, bamboo, and hemp to "support a theory
that the South Sea islands were peopled from Peru." His vessel, the
"Kon-Tiki", carried a crew of six from Peru and arrived in Tahiti 108 days
New Zealander Edmund Hillary, along with Nepalese guide Tenzing Norgay,
completes the first successful ascent of Mount Everest.
The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine the "Nautilus", commandeered by
William R. Anderson, becomes the first ship to cross beneath the entire length
of the North Pole.