Monday, July 20, 2020

A Virtual Expedition to the South Pole

The Fram is the polar exploration ship which Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen used to reach Antarctica on the first ever expedition to reach the geographic South Pole. The ship was originally designed and built in 1891–93 specifically to withstand prolonged exposure to the harshest of Arctic conditions. Before being used by Amundsen to reach the South Pole the Fram had also been used to transport expeditions to the Arctic and to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

It is hard to imagine what life was like spending months on board the Fram traveling to Antarctica. However thanks to the Fram Museum we can explore inside the Fram and witness at first hand the cabins, galleys and decks of the ship used by those intrepid Antarctic explorers. The Fram is on permanent exhibition at the the Fram Museum and the museum has created a fantastic interactive Street View tour of the ship. Using this virtual tour you can actually walk above and below decks of the Fram and explore the ship for yourself.

The Fram Museum is also home to the Gjøa, which was the first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage. The Fram Museum virtual tour also allows you to explore and walk around on the Gjøa.

Roald Admundsen and his team reached the South Pole on 14 December 1911, beating a British expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott by five weeks. Scott's entire team died on the return journey from the pole.

The Terra Nova Expedition, led by Scott, spent the winter months in the Cape Evans hut, before they embarked on their final trek to the pole. The Cape Evans hut was a prefabricated wooden structure measuring 50 by 25 feet. Again it is impossible to imagine what it would be like living for months in a wooden hut in a freezingly cold Antarctic winter. Google Maps however can give you some insight into life inside the Cape Evans hut. Astonishingly you can actually explore Scott's Hut using Google Maps Street View. Google Maps has interactive panoramic Street View imagery of Cape Evans, which allows you to walk around the outside of Scott's hut and actually go inside and explore the hut for yourself.

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