Sea lionNov. 21, 1915:  Trapped in Antarctic ice for nearly a year, the HMS Endurance sinks off the coast of Antarctica. Explorer Ernest Shackleton orders his crew to camp on ice floes, then sail in cramped lifeboats to Elephant Island, an uninhabited rock.  Shackleton takes three of his men to get help via a 15-day, open boat journey to a whaling station on South Georgia island.  Stranded nearly two years total, all the men of the Endurance miraculously survive.

Nov. 21, 1953:  The British Museum concludes an exhaustive investigation concluding that the “Piltdown Man” is a hoax. More than four decades earlier, the purported discovery of an ape-like skull suggests an evolutionary link between apes and man. The Museum concludes that someone bleached the bones of an ape skull in an attempt to create the illusion that they were thousands of years old.

Nov. 21, 1989:  Environmental groups petition to list the Steller Sea Lion (at right) as an endangered species.  The sea lions have been in rapid decline for decades.  Overfishing for pollock and other sea lion foods are believed to be responsible, but some scientists say that doesn’t account for such a sharp decline.   The U.S. designates a portion of the Steller population as endangered in 1990, while designating the species as “threatened” in Western Alaska.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.