• Weird History

Haunting Photos From The 1911 Expedition To Antarctica

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After joining Ernest Shackleton for his 1907-09 Nimrod expedition into Antarctica, explorer Douglas Mawson led his own 31-man voyage, dubbed the "Australasian Antarctic Expedition," into the continent from 1911-14. The journey would result in several geological and scientific discoveries, and Mawson would be knighted upon his return.

However, the adventure was not without its casualties. On November 10, 1912, Mawson left Cape Denison to map the eastern coastline with two compatriots: Belgrave Ninnis, a British army officer and dog handler, and Xavier Mertz, a lawyer. By the time Mawson returned to camp three months later, he was alone. Ninnis and Mertz did not survive the journey, the former plummeting into a crevasse and the latter succumbing to illness along the way.

These photos, taken by Australian photographer James Hurley, reveal what conditions were like on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, the dogs the men traveled with, the way they made shelter, and more.