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13 of history's greatest polar explorers

By: Laura Moss on Nov. 16, 2011, 8:52 a.m.
Sir James Clark Ross

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Sir James Clark Ross

This British naval officer took part in numerous Arctic expeditions and located the position of the North Magnetic Pole in 1831. From 1839 to 1843, James Clark Ross commanded an Antarctic expedition with two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, and sailed farther south than anyone before. During the voyage, he charted much of Antarctica’s coastline and discovered the Ross Sea and two volcanoes, which he named Mount Erebus and Mount Terror after his vessels. Ross was knighted when he returned to England, and published an account of his expedition in “A Voyage of Discovery and Research to southern and Antarctic regions,” which included one of the first references to the continent as Antarctica.