Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Polar Exploration

Polar Exploration has been carried on both in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, in the one case as far as 80° N. lat., in the other to a short distance within the Antarctic Circle. The earliest efforts in this direction appear to have been made by the Norsemen; but systematic exploration of a later date had its origin in the attempt to discover a N.E. or N.W. passage to India and eastern Asia with a view to facility of trade. This hope was soon abandoned, and later expeditions have been undertaken out of love of adventure, or to advance scientific ends, or, in some cases, for the sake of discovering the fate of earlier expeditions. In 1497 Cabot found Labrador and Newfoundland, and in 1553 Sir Hugh Willoughby sighted Nova Zemlia. Many other adventurers of different nationalities explored in an eastern direction, but this path soon became abandoned for a time. In the long list of Arctic explorers proper may be mentioned Frobisher (1576), Davis (1585), Hudson (1610), Baffin (1615), Behring (c. 1749), a Russian explorer; Scoresby, who added much to our knowledge of these regions (1806); Franklin, who perished in his last expedition (1845); Ross, Parry, McClure, who actually did make the N.W. Passage; McC'lintock (1857), the Americans Kane, Hayes, and Greeley, and the Norwegian Nansen.