Mrs. Chippy Monument at Karori Cemetery | Wellington | New Zealand |

Early polar exploration was a lonely adventure, where sailors would be stuck on their ships for months, subsisting on barely edible rations among some of the world’s most inhospitable climates. However, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 was made just a bit happy by the presence of the adorable ship’s cat, Mrs. Chippy. Mrs Chippy was taken on board the ship Endurance by carpenter Harry “Chippy” McNish. “Chippy” is a colloquial British term for a carpenter, and the cat acquired its name because, once aboard, it followed McNish…

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Leonid Rogozov: the man who cut out his own appendix

Leonid Rogozov, a russian surgeon, was part of the sixth Soviet Antarctic expedition – a team of 12 had been sent to build a new base at the Schirmacher Oasis. The Novolazarevskaya Station was up and running by the middle of February 1961, and with their mission complete the group settled down to see out the hostile winter months. He was the only doctor present at Novolazarevskaja Station and, while he was there, he was forced to perform an appendectomy on himself, in one of the popular case of self-surgery.…

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Mawson’s Huts: Frozen in times.

Lost on the edge of Cape Denison in Antarctica, there is a small group of huts that were built by Australian antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson in the early 20th century. However, they have been abandoned for decades, preserving much of the objects and furnitur of the original expedition. The small reasearch station was built between 1911-1914 and is now known simply as the Mawson Huts. It stands as one of the last outposts left from the Heroic Era of Antarctic Exploration, and the only one created by Australians. Mawson and…

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