25

We can be fairly certain that humans did not live on Antarctica, the continent, before the 20th century. Since about 15 Ma, the continent has been mostly covered with ice. Ref: Trewby, Mary, ed. Antarctica: An Encyclopedia from Abbott Ice Shelf to Zooplankton. Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55297-590-8. Intermittent warm periods allowed Nothofagus shrubs to ...


17

3 reasons that I know of - and the first is visible on your map: Image credit NASA Take a look at the topographical lines around Coats Land - the ascent to the Antarctic Plateau is more difficult from the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf than it is from the Ross Ice Shelf. It doesn't look that bad on the map, but there is roughly a 10,000ft (~3000m) elevation ...


16

Originally, there was a lot of confusion about Antarctic nomenclature, with many different countries making different claims and names at different times. For example, this is one notice from 1912: The plateau around the South Pole was named by Amundsen after King Haakon VII. Sir Ernest Shackleton points out, very, very politely, that Amundsen must ...


14

For reference, here is the official classification from Wikipedia of the conditions necessary for a "pleasant" Antarctic day: Condition 3 Windspeed below 48 knots (55 miles per hour) Visibility greater than 1/4 of a mile (402 meters) Wind chill above −75 °F (−60 °C) Description: Pleasant conditions; all outside travel is permitted. Condition 3 ...


13

Comintern's answer is substantially correct, but hindsight helps us identify a lot of the issues that made the Ross Sea a good idea. From a contemporary perspective, there's one really substantial factor: the Ross Sea area was relatively well understood at the time of the major 'Heroic Age' expeditions in the early twentieth century, while the Weddell was ...


12

General answer: it will probably depend what you define as "the shape". Ultimately, once landfall was made on opposite coasts (1820-1840), and land was proven to be there, it was a matter of looking at all the places a ship had sailed through without hitting anything, concluding that the coastline must be further south than that, and drawing in a dotted line ...


11

Possibly - but neither dinosaurs nor woolly mammoths. Antarctica froze over about 34 million years ago, which is long after extinction of the dinosaurs (other than their avian descendants) some 60 million years ago. However glacial movement severely restricts where any such might be found. Below is a map of current movement rates for Antarctica's glaciers, ...


7

The main reason as I understand it was to extend the Argentine territorial waters and thus create a stronger claim to ownership of the Falklands. It would also seriously deplete the British forces in the Falklands to oppose the invasion (though that was of course not guaranteed). Of course there's also the potential wealth of oil, gas, and minerals in and ...


6

A very interesting question, as it turns out. The coast of Antarctica wasn't definitively sighted until about 1820, so no globe until then would have featured it. I found this pocket globe made by Abel Klinger in I believe 18801 that shows the barest outline of some of the coast of Antarctica. Examining some globes from the same manufacturer in 1855, I can'...


6

According to a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in this article they used a mix of outs, corn and a meat-based supplement. To overcome the horse’s need for bulk grass based feed, Shackleton arranged to purchase ten tons of compressed fodder consisting of oats, bran and chaff. He also took a large stock of corn. Yet upon the advice of the British ...


4

There are usually some people who get a feeling of superiority from taking the cynical line, so in this case someone may well say "Of course all the talk of justice, patriotism, standing up to aggressors etc. was phony, it was really all about control of Antarctica's untapped oil reserves." However, while that might be about 1% of it so far as the UK and ...


3

In addition to the other answers I would add that Antarctica is well protected by the Westerlies, a zone of westerly winds surrounding it from 30-60° S. These bands are named "Roaring Forties", "Howling Fifties" and "Screaming Sixties", try to guess why. Apart from mostly bad weather with regular storms of hurricane force and freak waves you must cross the ...


2

Patagonians reached the Falklands and Maoris settled Sub-Antartic Islands thus in one sense humans did reach the periphery of Antartica.


2

There doesn't seem ot have been any technological advance between Ross's expeditions and later (ant)arctic and antarctic expeditions of the late 19th and early 20th century. The clothing was predominantly wool underclothes for warmth, supplemented with canvas over coats for protection from the wind. This worked surprisingly poorly, in the Antarctic ...


1

Dinosaur fossils have already been found in Antarctica. Fossils of Amphibian and reptiles from the Triassic period, 250-245 million years ago, were found at several sites near the Beardmore and Shackleton glaciers. During the 1970s, work on these Early Triassic fossils revealed that some are the same species as those found from the same time period on other ...


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