There are a lot of names of brave adventurers in history who tirelessly tried to expand the borders of our world. Often such trips took years, it was so much required to find out the territory unknown before. Not all travelers were able to return home and share the joys of their discoveries. Do not forget that the desire to discover and learn was influenced and helped by some contemporaries, whose names are also worth recalling. Below are the ten greatest explorers who returned from their expeditions as heroes and whose names have forever gone down in history, making them the greatest explorers of their time.
Roald Amundsen and the search for the Northwest Passage.
Amundsen was born in the family of Norwegian ship owners. Despite her mother’s promises to become a doctor, after her death Roald joined the family business. His first expedition was the Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897-1899, where he was the first assistant of Adrien de Gerlach. The first independent expedition led by Amundsen set as its goal to find the Northwest Passage (presumably connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean in the north) in 1903. This elusive passage was the goal of finding a multitude of researchers, dating back to 1539. It was then that Cortes instructed Francisco Ulua to sail along the Bach Peninsula, which is in California. Amundsen began his journey with six crew members on a 47-ton steel sealer ship called “Joa.” The path began in the sea of Baffin, the movement began decisively, but then the team settled down for the winter, having lost sight of the public for two whole years. Roald during this time became friends with the Eskimos, learned a lot from them. The Norwegian learned how to survive in the conditions of the eternal cold, having learned to use sled dogs and to wear skins instead of woolen jackets. At this time Amundsen managed to make a few more scientific notes about magnetism. Then the expedition took a course around the southern coast of the island of Victoria and along the northern coast of Canada and Alaska. From the coast of this state began the last stage of the expedition to 800 kilometers deep into the continent to the town of Eagle City, where there was a telegraph. Hence Amundsen on December 5, 1905, informed the whole world of his success. Having hibernated right there, the traveler arrived in Oslo only in 1906. Amundsen found the separation of Norway from Sweden, reporting his achievement for the whole of Norway to the new King, Hokon. But in the desire for new discoveries Amundsen did not stop, becoming the first person to reach the South Pole and one of the first who flew over the North in the air.
Hernan Cortez and the fall of the Aztec empire.
Hernán Cortés was born in 1485 in Medellín, in the then Kingdom of Castile in Spain. He entered the University of Salamanca when he was fourteen years old, but soon got tired of studying and returned to Medellin. At that moment news of the discovery of Columbus came to the country. Cortes quickly assessed the prospects of conquest of new lands and in 1504 he left for the New World. The Spaniard planned to become a colonist on the island of Hispaniola (now the island of Haiti). It was there that he registered as a citizen upon arrival. In 1506, Cortes took an active part in the conquest of Haiti and Cuba and was awarded real estate and slave Indians. In 1518 he headed an expedition to Mexico. But the Spanish governor, afraid of rivalry from the side of Cortes, abolished the campaign. This did not stop Cortez, he still went on the road. In February 119, he was accompanied by 11 ships, 500 people, 13 horses and several guns. Arriving on the Yucatan peninsula, Cortes burned his ships, thus cutting off the way back. Here the researcher met Geronimo de Aguilar, a Spanish priest who survived the shipwreck and was captured by the Maya. Over time, he became an interpreter of Cortez.In March, the Yucatán was declared a Spanish possession, and Hernan himself as a tribute from the conquered tribes received 20 young women, one of whom, Malinche, became his mistress and the mother of his child Martin. The woman became not just a concubine, but also an interpreter and adviser. The Spaniard quickly attracted to his side, thousands of Indians, who were tired of the rule of the Aztecs, promising them independence. When Cortez entered the capital of the Aztecs, the city of Tenochtitlan in November 1519, he was welcomed by the emperor Montezuma II. He considered Cortes the incarnation and messenger of the god Quetzalcoatl. The abundance of gold gifts and wealth around turned the Spaniard’s head, and the authorities decided to return his obstinate researcher. When Cortez found out that a group of troops was coming to him from Cuba, he left part of his troops in Tenochtitlan, and he himself left for the valley of Mexico City. When Cortez returned to the city, an uprising broke out there. In 1521 the Aztec forces were suppressed, their entire empire was conquered. Until 1524, the whole of Mexico, Cortez rules. Journey of Charles Darwin on the ship “Beagle”.
Charles Darwin was born in 1809. Even before he started attending school, he showed great interest in nature and collecting. While studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Darwin quickly realized that this direction was not for him. Instead, he became interested in a taxidermy led by John Edmonstone, who once accompanied Charles Waterton in his journey through the tropical forests of South America. In the second year of his studies, Darwin joined the Plinyevsky Scientific Society, becoming a member of the group on the study of the history of nature. There he began to classify plants and animals. Darwin’s father, annoyed with his son’s occupation, decided to transfer him to Cambridge. An important role was played by a letter from John Henslow, a friend of Charles and a professor of botany. He proposed the candidacy of Darwin as a free naturalist for Captain Beagle Robert Fitzroy. Charles immediately accepted the offer to participate in a two-year expedition to the South American coast. The journey began on December 27, 1831 and lasted almost 5 years. Most of his time, Darwin spent exploring geological samples and collecting collections on natural history. At this time, the ship itself studied the coast. The expedition route ran from English Portsmouth to St. Iago (now Santiago), Darwin visited Cape Verde, Brazil and Patagonia, Chile and the Galapagos Islands. Then there were the southern coast of Australia, the Cocos Islands, Cape Town and South Africa. During the expedition, Charles did not use any clear instructions. However, in his work he applied the works of several well-known geologists and naturalists. After all, during his time at the University, Darwin was influenced by Robert Grant, William Palea (the work “Proof of Christianity”), John Henslow, Alexander von Humboldt (Personal Narrative) and John Herschel. During his journey, Darwin became familiar with thousands of species. When the scientist returned home and tried to catalog his collection, the ideas that formed the basis of the fundamental work “On the Origin of Species” and the whole theory of evolution began to form in his head. This work has become decisive in the life of the scientist, placing his name in history.
Fernand Magellan and the first round-the-world trip.
Magellan was born in 1480 in Sabros, Portugal. When the boy was only 10 years old, his parents died. Little Fernand became the page of Queen Eleanor. Already in his youth the future navigator visited Egypt, India and Malaysia. But Magellan’s projects did not like the royal family, and in 1517, together with the cosmographer Faleira, he offered his services to the Spanish crown. At that time, the Treaty of Tordesillas shared the New World between Portugal and Spain. Magellan calculated that the border Moluccas Islands belong to the Spaniards, offering them their services in finding a way to them.The expedition was approved by King Charles V, and on September 20, 1519 Magellan, along with 5 ships departed the country. The crew consisted of 234 men from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and France. Originally, the expedition’s route lay to Brazil, and then, along the South American coast to San Julian, in Patagonia. There was a wintering, and there was an attempted mutiny. Part of the team demanded a return to Spain. Magellan brutally suppressed a riot, executing the leader and shackling his accomplices in shackles. In September 1520, the expedition opened the Straits of Magellan. By that time there were three ships left. The southern sea was called a seafarer by the Pacific Ocean, because there were no storms on it. After landing on the island of Guam followed by a grueling road to the Philippine Islands. There Magellan swam in the spring of 1521. The Spaniard decided to subjugate the local land to the Crown and got involved in the internecine war of the two local tribes. In the course of the battles, Fernand Magellan himself was killed. The survivors were forced to flood one ship, another turned back. Prior to Spain on September 8, 1522, only Victoria arrived with 18 survivors led by Captain Juan Elcano, a former rebel. Interestingly, Magellan’s flight was not planned at all. The round-the-world trip could not have a commercial effect in principle. Only under the threat of an attack by the Portuguese, “Victoria” continued to follow the west.
Travel Marco Polo.
In our list, this researcher is the earliest. But it was he who inspired many of his followers to new geographical discoveries. Marco was born in Venice, supposedly in 1254. And his father, Niccolo, and Matteo’s uncle were rich merchants who traded with the Middle East. When Marco was born, his father was away, they only saw each other 15 years later. The family reunited for two years, living in Venice, after which the merchants went to China in 1271. They were sent there with letters from Pope Gregory X to Khubilai Khan, with whom Poles’ senior met on the previous expedition. The journey ran through Armenia, Persia, Afghanistan, the Pamir Mountains, along the Silk Road through the Gobi Desert and up to Beijing. Such a long journey took three whole years! The next 15 years of his life, Marco Polo spent as a state Chinese official, he visited the Ambassador of Khan and the governor of Yangzhou City. With the help of Khan and his servants, the merchant learned the Mongolian language. Also, the Italian conducted several expeditions to the areas of China, India and Burma up to this point still unknown. In 1291, the Khan issued one of his princesses to marry a Persian Ilkhan, and allowed the Polos family to accompany the delegation. The Italians went to Sumatra and Ceylon, and through Iran and the Black Sea returned to Venice. The further history of the life of the researcher is known little. He participated in the war with Genoa and was captured in 1298. While in captivity, Polo became acquainted with the writer Rusticano, who helped the merchant write down stories about his travels. The published book, known as the “Travels of Marco Polo” has become one of the most popular in medieval Europe. It should be noted that the Italian’s discoveries would not have been possible without his father and uncle, who had already paved the way to China, having established contacts with the Great Khan. Traveling Livingston and Stanley.
Dr. David Livingston was a missionary sent to Africa in 1841. He decided to study the inner world of the continent, when suddenly it turned out that the mission in Kolobeng, where he worked, was closing. It was Livingston who first discovered the Victoria Falls and became one of the first Europeans to make a transcontinental journey through Africa. Then the attention of the Englishman attracted the source of the Nile, the mystery of which is more than three thousand years. His journey began from Zanzibar along the River Ruvum to Lake Malawi and then to Ujiji on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. By that time Livingston remained practically alone, most of his cargo and medicines were stolen. No wonder David got sick.But he stubbornly moved on, opening the lakes Mveru and Bangweulu. By the end of March 1871, the Englishman reached the river Lualaba, believing that it was the source of the Nile. But unable to travel further, Livingstone returned to Ujiji, where he discovered that all his freshwater supplies had been stolen. Although there was no further travel, the discoveries of Livingston became priceless – so deep in the heart of Africa no one has ever climbed. By that time, rumors about the disappearance of Livingston’s expedition and death had filled Europe and America. This information attracted the attention of the young American journalist Henry Morton Stanley. He was born in Wales and remained an orphan as a child, and at the age of eighteen moved to the New World. The young man began to work for the trader Henry Stanley, and when he died, took his name and joined the army of the Confederates. At the end of the Civil War, Stanley became a journalist, working in the newspaper “New York Harold.” It was this edition that financed the expedition to find the expedition of Livingston, begun in Zanzibar. Stanley followed the route of his predecessor, faced with many exactly the same problems – desertion and tropical diseases. October 27, 1871 Stanley found the sick Livingstone in Ujiji on October 27, 1871. The Englishman stood among a group of Arab slavers, and the journalist greeted him with a phrase that later became famous: “Dr. Livingston, I suppose?”. Stanley’s expedition consisted of about 200 experienced porters, most of whom fled or died on the road. Stanley at the same time flogged those who refused to go further. But Livingston walked along with the freed slaves, twelve sepoys and two faithful servants from previous trips. It was they who brought the body of the deceased in 1873 to the explorer on the coast, from where it was delivered to England.
Lewis and Clark.
Expansion to the west. In 1803, America turned its attention to the West, to Louisiana. The American government did not really know that the land was previously purchased from France. That’s why President Thomas Jefferson instructed Congress to allocate 2.5 thousand dollars for the expedition, which was prepared just a few weeks after the deal was completed. The research was to be led by Army captain Merriweizer Lewis, who chose William Clark as his partner. In May 1804, 3 sergeants and 22 soldiers went with them, as well as volunteers, translators and slaves – a total of 43 people. The expedition began to move up the Missouri River, then it was wintered by the Indians of the Mandan tribe. In the spring the way lay in the headwaters of the river, then the continental watershed was crossed. Lewis and Clark overcame the Rocky Mountains, finding the Columbia River. In its mouth was built Fort Klapsop. Walking along the river, the Americans went out to the Pacific Ocean. On the way back, the group after the Rockies split into three parts, reuniting later and returning triumphantly to St. Louis. The city met them on September 23, 1806 as heroes. The 28-month journey proved that there is a land transcontinental route. Lewis and Clarke brought with them a lot of information, including a map of their route, a description of Indian culture and observation of the environment. In the journey of the brave Americans did not pass without the help of indigenous people. So, with them decided to go a young Indian from the Shoshoni tribe of Sakagawae, who for thousands of kilometers carried on her young son’s back. Her knowledge and relationships with people largely determined the success of the mission.
Sir Edmund Hillary and the first successful conquest of Everest.
Edmund Hillary was born in New Zealand’s Oakland on July 20, 1919. At the local university, he studied mathematics and science. Then Edmund took up beekeeping, together with his twin brother, having conquered several peaks in his spare time. With the outbreak of World War II, he decided to join the Air Force, but withdrew his application before it was considered.But soon, thanks to the call, Hillary still joined the Air Force as a navigator. In 1951 and 1952, as part of British intelligence, he explored approaches to Everest and Cho Oyu. In 1953 Hillary decided to climb the highest peak of the world. At that time, the road to Everest from Chinese Tibet was closed, and the government of Nepal allowed only one expedition per year. In 1952, the Swiss failed due to bad weather, the next year it was the turn of the British. The head of the expedition, Tom Hunt, created two teams for the ascent. Hillary was in the same group as the experienced Norgai Tenzig. In all, the expedition had 362 porters, 20 conductors and about 4 tons of cargo. The first attempt to conquer the peak was undertaken by Burdillon and Evans, but they did not reach the summit due to a breakdown in the oxygen supply system. May 28 Hillary and Tenzig with three companions began their assault on Mount Everest. Overnight was held at an altitude of 8500 meters, from where the brave mountain climbers together continued their journey. May 29 at 11:30 am local time, the pair reached the top. There they stayed only 15 minutes. During this time they were photographed, left the chocolate as an offering to the gods, and hoisted the flag. The first person to greet the heroes was George Lowe, Hillary’s best friend. He rose to meet him with hot soup. For their efforts, Hillary and the expedition leader Hunt received chivalry from the queen, and Tenzig was awarded a medal. Hunt became a lifelong peer, and Hillary received many awards and recognition for life. Hillary’s feat would not have been possible without the participation of Norgei Tenzing, a Nepalese Sherpa. He was born in 1914 and had a rich experience of participating in the Himalayan expeditions. He has already participated in 6 previous attempts to conquer Everest. Norgay initially joined the expedition as the Sherpa leader, but when he saved Hillary from falling into the crack, he was seen as an ideal partner for climbing.
Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America.
This researcher, one of the most famous in the world, was born in Italian Genoa in 1451. Columbus’s father was a weaver, the young man had to continue this work. But in 1472 the family moved to Savona, and Christopher himself began to take part in sea hikes, enrolling in the Portuguese merchant marine. Perhaps, back in 1474, in the course of correspondence with the astronomer and geographer Toscanelli, Columbus considered the search for a sea route to India through the West. However, for a long time this project was not in demand. Only in 1492 Columbus, with the participation of King Ferdinand II of Spain and Queen Isabella, was able to equip the expedition. August 3, 1492 from the harbor of the city of Palos came three ships – “Santa Maria”, “Nina” and “Pinta.” They visited the Canary Islands, belonging to Castile, and within five weeks they walked across the Atlantic Ocean. And at 2 am on October 12, 1492, the sailor Rodrigo de Triana from the side of Pinta saw the earth. The island found was called San Salvador, it was one of the Bahamas. Columbus further discovered the islands of Espalol (Haiti), which was similar to the lands of Castile, and Juan (Cuba). During the expedition, Columbus met with the Arawak Indians, whom he initially mistook for the poor Chinese. Returning to Spain, he abducted about 25 of them, only seven survived. Returned to Palos Columbus on March 15, 1493 and was appointed Admiral of the Sea-Ocean and Governor-General of all already and future found lands. Subsequently, Columbus made three more trips to the New World, more and more complementing the map of the modern Caribbean. In his search, Columbus practically did not have any like-minded people, because his ideas were rather strange for the Western world. Only the mistake of Columbus was that he, looking for Asia, found a new continent, although he persuaded the Spaniards in the opposite. In his own evaluation of the project, Columbus used the works of Marco Polo, Imago Mundi, and the estimate of the circumference of the Earth by Ptolemy. First steps of Neil Armstrong on the Moon.
Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Huapakonet, Ohio. At an early age the boy was carried away by airplanes. On his sixteenth birthday, Armstrong received a pilot license, and in the basement of his house he even managed to build a wind tunnel. In it, he conducted experiments with aircraft models. After two years of training at Purdue University, he was called up for active military service, performing 78 sorties during the war in Korea. Upon his return from the war, Armstrong received a degree in aeronautical engineering. Then there was the test pilot in NASA. In September 1962, Armstrong became America’s first civilian astronaut and began his training in Houston, Texas. Neil was a spare pilot for the Gemini-5 expedition, and in 1966 made a space flight to Gemini-8. Armstrong noted that he was able to repair the malfunction of the device and return control of the control, making an emergency landing just 1.1 miles from the planned landing site. The cosmonaut began to prepare for the flight to Gemini-11, but was selected for the team preparing to fly to the moon. In January 1969, it was Neil Armstrong who was chosen commander of the mission “Apollo 11”, which was supposed to deliver earthlings to the satellite. At 9-32 July 16, 1969 from the Space Center Kennedy started the crew as part of Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin. A successful journey to the moon took four days. The team landed on the Moon on July 20, it was broadcast around the world by radio and television. At 10-56 in the evening, Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon. His phrase: “This is one small step for man, but a giant leap for all of humanity” – immediately became famous. Armstrong and Aldrin spent two hours on the surface of the Moon, they collected soil samples, installed a television camera, a seismograph and a US flag. Such a great achievement of Armstrong and “Apollo 11” would not have been possible without the help of a group of hundreds of assistants on Earth, in the Flight Control Center. For the work of each vehicle block, someone answered. They were all ruled by the Flight Director, Gene Kranz, who also directed Gemini 4 and the odd missions of Apollo. It is Kranzu crew of “Apollo 13” in the first place grateful for his return home.