norwegian explorer

Antarctica fruitcake: 106-year-old dessert 'left by Capt Scott'

Ice-covered Antarctica is one of Earth’s most hostile natural environments.

But a new find by the Antarctic Heritage Trust suggests it’s no match for a 106-year-old British fruitcake.

Conservators found the elderly cake on Cape Adare, and believe it belonged to British explorer Robert Falcon Scott - known as Scott of the Antarctic.

Although the tin was rusted, the team said the cake was in “excellent condition” and smelled edible.

The New Zealand-based trust found it in Antarctica’s oldest building, a hut built by Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink’s team in 1899, and used by Capt Scott in 1911 during his Terra Nova expedition. 

The polar pioneer was said to be fond of this particular cake, made by the British biscuit company Huntley & Palmers. Read more.

Space vocabulary in Norwegian! Translation of this post by @languageoclock, (which again was a translation of this post by @malteseboy)

  • En astronaut - Astronaut 
  • En astronom - Astronomer 
  • En atomsfære - Atmosphere 
  • Et romvesen - Alien 
  • En oppdagelse - Discovery 
  • Jorden - Earth 
  • Månen - Moon 
  • Et observatorium - Observatory 
  • En planet - Planet 
  • En dvergplanet - Dwarf planet 
  • En rakett - Rocket 
  • Et romskip - Spaceship 
  • Ei/en sol - Sun 
  • Ei/en stjerne - Star 
  • Et solsystem - Solar system 
  • Melkeveien - Milky way 
  • Et teleskop - Telescope 
  • Et univers - Universe 
  • Verdensrommet - Space 
  • En vitenskapsmann - Scientist 
  • En bane - Orbit 
  • Et liv - Life 
  • En beboelig sone - Habitable zone 
  • En galakse - Galaxy 
  • En meteor - Meteor
  • En asteroide - Asteroid 
  • Kosmos - Cosmos 
  • En satellitt - Satellite 
  • En romstasjon  - Space station 
  • Gravitasjon - Gravity 
  • Utforske - Explore 
Painting from Scott expedition discovered in Antarctica

The mystery of a beautifully painted watercolour of a dead bird that was found in Antarctica’s oldest building has been solved.

The painting of a Tree Creeper was in a hut built by Norwegian explorers and later used by the Scott expedition.

The image was found in a pile of papers covered in mould and penguin excrement.

It is believed to be by British scientist Dr Edward Wilson, who died on the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole in 1912.

Antarctic Heritage Trust paper conservator Josefin Bergmark-Jimenez described the find as the greatest moment in her career. Read more.


On this day, 5th January 1922, Ernest Shackleton, died.

Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Antarctic explorer, best known for leading the Endurance’ expedition of 1914-16.

Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on 15 February 1874 in Ireland but his family moved to London where Shackleton was educated. He joined the merchant navy when he was 16 and qualified as a master mariner in 1898. 

In 1901, Shackleton was chosen to go on the Antarctic expedition led by British naval officer Robert Falcon Scott on the ship ‘Discovery’.  The team trekked towards the South Pole in extremely difficult conditions, getting closer to the Pole than anyone had come before. Shackleton became seriously ill and had to return home.

In 1908, he returned to the Antarctic as the leader of his own expedition, on the ship 'Nimrod’. During the expedition, his team climbed Mount Erebus, made many important scientific discoveries and set a record by coming even closer to the South Pole than before. Shackleton was knighted on his return to Britain.

In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, followed by Scott who died on the return journey. In 1914, Shackleton made his third trip to the Antarctic with the ship 'Endurance’, planning to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. Early in 1915, Endurance’ became trapped in the ice, and ten months later sank. Shackleton’s crew had already abandoned the ship to live on the floating ice. In April 1916, they set off in three small boats, eventually reaching Elephant Island. Taking five crew members, Shackleton went to find help. In a small boat, the six men spent 16 days crossing 1,300 km of ocean to reach South Georgia and then trekked across the island to a whaling station. The remaining men from the 'Endurance’ were rescued in August 1916. Not one member of the expedition died. Shackleton’s account of the 'Enduranceexpedition, South was published in 1919. The State Library of New South Wales holds a number of editions of this book, including first editions.

Shackleton’s fourth expedition aimed to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent but on 5 January 1922, Shackleton died of a heart attack off South Georgia and he was buried on the island.

The State Library of New South Wales holds collections of photographs depicting Shackleton’s expeditions, including these taken by photographer Frank HurleyPhotographs of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s trans-Antarctic expedition in the 'Endurance’, ca. 1914-1917  

105th Anniversary of the First Expedition to the South Pole

The first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole was led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. He and four others arrived at the pole on 14 December 1911, five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott as part of the Terra Nova Expedition.


August 7th 1947: Kon-Tiki expedition ends

On this day in 1947, the Kon-Tiki raft smashed into reef and was beached in the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was led by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and aimed to prove that pre-historic peoples could have travelled from South America to Polynesia and settled there. The expedition took 101 days and covered 7,000 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to the Polynesian islands. The raft was constructed and sailed using only materials and techniques people would have had available in pre-Columbian times. However, the experiment was criticised because they used modern technology such as having the raft towed out to sea. The journey began on April 28th but ended on August 7th, with the crew all returned safely to land.


December 14th 1911: Amundsen team reach South Pole

On this day in 1911, a team led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first people to reach the South Pole. Born in 1872, Amundsen got his first taste of adventure at the age of fifteen, when he embarked on a sea voyage. In 1899, he had his first encounter with the Antarctic, and a few years later became the first person to travel the Northwest Passage. He then planned a trip to the North Pole, but after that was reached by Robert Peary in 1909 he redirected his efforts to the South Pole. Amundsen’s expedition was kept secret, and he sought the pole less for the scientific achievement than as an effort to alleviate his mounting debt. Amundsen was not the only person headed for the pole, however, as in September 1909 British explorer Robert Scott had announced his own expedition. The Norwegian crew were locked in a race with the Scott team, each attempting to make history by being the first people to reach the planet’s South Pole. Scott’s team were using motorised sledges, whereas Amundsen’s were pulled by dogs and they used skis. Tensions were high in the Amundsen team, and the party split up in October, with Amundsen, Olav Olavson Bjaaland, Hilmer Hanssen, Sverre H. Hassel and Oscar Wisting headed for the pole. At 3pm on Friday, December 14th 1911, they arrived at the site of the South Pole. With frostbitten and aching hands, the five men placed the Norwegian flag in the ground. They celebrated with a meal and cigars in the camp, and departed soon after, but not before leaving a message for Scott in the tent. The British party arrived five weeks later, only to discover they had been beaten by the Norwegians. In a sad turn of events, the entire Scott party died on the return journey, and they have since become national heroes in Britain for their bravery and fortitude. Amundsen, unaware of this, was able to telegraph the news of his success to his brother in March, 1912, and his achievement was widely celebrated. Roald Amundsen later took up flying, and disappeared in 1928 after his plane went missing during a search for a lost aircraft.

“And so at last we reached our destination and planted our flag on the geographical South Pole, King Haakon VII’s plateau. Thank God!“
- Amundsen’s diary entry on December 14th 1911

Erik the Red, Greenland and Iceland:

Erik the Red was an icelandic born viking explorer, who found Greenland and settled the huge island.
At first, Norwegians had explored and settled Iceland. This name of course comes from the many glaciers and icy beaches, even though the area were way warmer than today, and was covered in 80% forests compared to the 10% today.

Erik the Red found Greenland with a crew, sailed back to Iceland to gain more settlers for the new land. He didn’t succeed so he had to lie about it, calling it Greenland for making it sound more appealing even though it was colder and further north than Iceland.

Erik then found several cities, and one of theese (Ruins pictured) stood on Greenland till 1500 totally isolated from the rest of Europe. Greenland was rediscovered by Danish missionaries in the 1700’s.

Louise Boyd (1887-1972) was an American explorer of Greenland and the Arctic, who in 1955 became the first woman to fly over the North Pole. She became famous for her polar adventures, with newspapers worldwide giving her nicknames such as “The Girl Who Tamed the Arctic”.

In 1928 she organised a dangerous and lengthy expedition to find the disappeared Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Although the search was fruitless, she was given the Chevalier Cross of the Order of Saint Olav by the government of Norway, the first woman to be honoured thus. Her expeditions to Greenland carried great scientific value, as she surveyed and collected hundreds of botanical specimens. During World War II she worked as a United States spy.


Norwegian nature (explored) by Steffen Østli


“Tuomas the Traveller” by Retkilehti.

“Tuomas Holopainen is an enthusiastic outdoor person. He enjoys sleeping in the wilderness, in his tiny shelter. His favourite hiking area in Finland is Fell Centre Kiilopää which is located next to the gates to Urho Kekkonen National Park – the second largest national park in Finland.

During his first trip to Kiilopää in 2000 he was tired and was thinking about breaking up Nightwish. 5 days of hiking, listening to the silence and sleeping well changed his mind, luckily, and the band continued. Tuomas has had many ideas for songs during his hikes. His big dream is to spend one whole month hiking with his backpack and without phone.” 

“In 2001 Tuomas travelled around the world by himself. His first destination was Thailand where he spent two weeks in a jungle with a small group of adventurous people. One day after 15 km hike he noticed that he had about 26 leeches stuck in his leg!Tuomas was very impressed by the scenery and wild horses of Easter Island. It was low season there and he was the only one staying in his hotel. He was staying in the same suite as Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl five decades earlier.”

“In March 2014 Tuomas, his spouse and a couple they were friends with flew to New Zealand, rented a camping car and drove about 3 000 km to see the best sights. They were particularly interested in The Lord of the Rings –movies and filming locations like Mount Doom in Tongariro.One day they went horseback riding which Tuomas said was quite scary since he didn´t have much experience in riding a horse. They camped in a shack and cooked with an open fire. Their surroundings were astonishing and sky full of stars.”