Roald Amundsen a Norwegian explorer led the first expedition to reach the south pole. His crew of five members reached south pole on 14-12-1911. Amundsen initially planned to conquer North Pole and raised funds for that purpose. But in 1909 two American explorers claimed that they have reached the north pole, so he changed his plan and prepared for a south pole expedition. He kept his change of plan as secret and even when he set out in june 1910 most people believed he is heading for a north pole expedition.
Amundsen’s crew are experts in use of sledge dogs which helped them to advance rapidly. During the same time a British explorer named Scott also led his team of five to south pole expedition. Although Amundsen’s party reached the south pole five weeks ahead of scott’s team. After successfully reaching the south pole, Amundsen’s team returned back to their base safely but later they came to know that Scott’s and his crew died on their journey.
Inspite of the successful completion of his south pole expedition for the first time, more importance was given to Scott’s heroic death at that time. But later explorers understand the courage of Amundsen to undertake this expedition and finishing it successfully. The scientific base station at the south pole was named after Amundsen and Scott to remember their achievement.
Life in the south pole is very difficult due to the severe cold out there. The long darkness and cold made it one of the most difficult place for life on earth. Without any special wears your breath will condense and skin will freeze in few seconds. South Pole is at the center of the antartic continent and only humans in heated facilities can survive the severe weather during winter. Life is very harsh even for the animals adapted to cold areas.
Very few animals inhabit the antartic continent and the surrounding polar sea, which includes skuas, penguins, whales, seals, few types of birds and microbes.
Taking south pole in particular there is hardly any animals inhabiting other than microbes and men in heated shelters.
South Polar Skua
Skuas are big sea birds which feed on fish. They are aggressive scavengers,often pose threat to other birds and penguins are easy target for them. They lay eggs near sea shore. Some researchers spotted skua in the south pole but mostly it was believed they were off course as there is is no food available in the south pole.
Due to extreme climatic conditions there are no insects in the continent. But some roundworms which are microscopic are able to survive in the soil.
Some active bacterias were found by researchers in the south pole. Despite the extreme cold conditions they were able to survive and reproduce.
There are three species of penguins found in the south polar region. They lay their eggs inland to take advantage of the solid ice coverage and they move to the sea for food and breeding. Penguins do not fly but they are excellent swimmers. They hunt for their fish in the polar sea.
Seals live in the polar water and they breed in the land. They depend on the sea for their food. They have thick layers of blubber and fur to survive the cold. Due to lack of predators they survive in large numbers in the south pole.
Whales are found in the south polar sea. They feed on fish and seals. During summer they move north for breeding.
More than 30 sea birds are spotted in the south polar sea. They mostly migrate to the south pole during summer and move north for winter.
A South Pole Adventure about two adaptive athletes pushing themselves 100 miles to the South Pole, marking the 100th anniversary of the Falcon Scott expedition. This is a story about the human spirit, and what it can overcome!