February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Erich Dagobert von Drygalski

What would you do if your ship was trapped in ice for 14 MONTHS?

Erich Dagobert von Drygalski decided to (among other things) fly a balloon and take a photograph of the trapped ship. This is the first aerial photograph in Antarctica.

Born on this day in 1865 in East Prussia (now Germany), von Drygalski was a geographer and glaciologist, which you might know means a scientist who studies glaciers. One of his expeditions wintered in Greenland, and of course 14 months of being stuck in ice in Antarctica is one heck of a looooooong winter!

During the time when the expedition's ship, named Gauss, was trapped, von Drygalski also made some discoveries, one of which was a volcano he named Gaussberg. I guess it was easy to spot because it was ice-free, and photos show it rising out of the flat icy ground.

Learn more about Antarctica.

Check out the photos and facts on the Cool Antarctica website or at the International Polar Foundation's EducaPoles.  

Amazing photos can be had at traveling photographer Thijs Heslenfeld's websites (check out at least the top photo and second-from-bottom photo on the vertical strip of photos found on the right-hand side of the screen!), including his Cold: Sailing to Antarctica

Earlier posts on Antarctica are here, here, here, and here.

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