25 Interesting Facts About Explorers And Exploration You Might Not Know

Posted by , Updated on November 25, 2015

At the core, everyone is an explorer. We are all blessed with a certain level of curiosity and that is all that it really takes. Why did people climb Mount Everest? Why did they sail across the oceans? In many ways it was just because they could. Of course, fame and fortune potentially played a role as well, but whatever the reason, exploration has played a critical role in humanity’s development. In the past we explored our continents, then we set off across oceans and explored other continents. Today, we explore the bottoms of the oceans and the heavens above. There is always some new frontier, and although the object of our exploration has changed, we are still people and we still do things for largely the same reason…curiosity. So, lets go back in time and take a look at some of the great explorers of the past. They made a lot of mistakes and did a lot of silly things, but some of the stories are pretty incredible. Although the age of exploration was wrought with warfare, backstabbing and gold (and of course pirates!) things aren’t much different today. These are 25 Interesting Facts About Explorers And Exploration You Might Not Know!

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Featured Image: Wikipedia

 

25

In 1503 Columbus got stranded in Jamaica while on his way to the new world. Knowing that a lunar eclipse was near, he told the locals that if they didn't take care of his crew the moon would disappear.

In 1503 Columbus got stranded in Jamaica while on his way to the new world. Knowing that a lunar eclipse was near, he told the locals that if they didn't take care of his crew the moon would disappear.Source: space.com, Image: wikipedia
24

Zheng He was a Chinese admiral, diplomat, and explorer who rose to great prominence during the 1300s in spite of being castrated and enslaved earlier in his life

Zheng He was a Chinese admiral, diplomat, and explorer who rose to great prominence during the 1300s in spite of being castrated and enslaved earlier in his lifeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
23

The famous British explorer David Livingstone once had all his supplies stolen while he was in Africa. In order to get food from the natives he had to eat his meals in a roped off enclosure which served as entertainment for the locals

The famous British explorer David Livingstone once had all his supplies stolen while he was in Africa. In order to get food from the natives he had to eat his meals in a roped off enclosure which served as entertainment for the localsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

In 1951, during the Explorer's Club annual dinner, a 250,000 year old piece of wooly mammoth meat was served

In 1951, during the Explorer's Club annual dinner, a 250,000 year old piece of wooly mammoth meat was servedSource: mentalfloss, Image: wikipedia
21

In 1911, British explorer George Murray Levick observed necrophilia in penguins around Antarctica. His findings weren't published until 2012 because they were deemed too indecent at the time

In 1911, British explorer George Murray Levick observed necrophilia in penguins around Antarctica. His findings weren't published until 2012 because they were deemed too indecent at the timeSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

20

Much to their surprise, the first pilgrims at Plymouth Colony were greeted by a Native American in English (his name was Samoset and he had begun to learn English from fisherman along the coast)

Much to their surprise, the first pilgrims at Plymouth Colony were greeted by a native american in English (his name was Samoset and he had begun to learn English from fisherman along the coast)Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
19

When James Cook first arrived in Hawaii the locals thought he was a god. When he came back, however, his boats had been battered by a storm, which apparently offended the natives. They subsequently killed him and ate him.

When James Cook first arrived in Hawaii the locals thought he was a god. When he came back, however, his boats had been battered by a storm, which apparently offended the natives. They subsequently killed him and ate him.Source: cracked, Image: pixabay
18

Lawrence Oates, an Antarctic explorer, got gangrene and frostbite during an expedition. Knowing that his mates' lives would be in danger, he walked out into the cold, never to return.

Lawrence Oates, an Antarctic explorer, got gangrene and frostbite during an expedition. Knowing that his mates' lives would be in danger, he walked out into the cold, never to return.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
17

Admiralty Island in Alaska is half the size of Yellowstone Park but with twice the number of grizzly bears. Early Russian explorers named the island Ostrov Kutsnoi, which translates to "fear island".

Admiralty Island in Alaska is half the size of Yellowstone Park but with twice the number of grizzly bears. Early Russian explorers named the island Ostrov Kutsnoi, which translates to "fear island".Source: nps.gov, Image: wikipedia
16

Ibn Fadlan, an Arab explorer, once witnessed a Norse funeral rite where a Viking slave girl had sex with all the warriors of the tribe. She was then sacrificed to serve their fallen chief in the next life.

Ibn Fadlan, an Arab explorer, once witnessed a Norse funeral rite where a Viking slave girl had sex with all the warriors of the tribe. She was then sacrificed to serve their fallen chief in the next life.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
15

During an expedition through Yellowstone, Truman Everts was separated from his group. He ended up losing his horse, his supplies, falling into a geyser, and getting frostbite before being found several months later barely alive

During an expedition through Yellowstone, Truman Everts was separated from his group. He ended up losing his horse, his supplies, falling into a geyser, and getting frostbite before being found several months later barely aliveSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
14

Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, discovered New Zealand and Tasmania on his first voyage but completely missed Australia. It wasn't until his second voyage that he realized what he had overlooked.

Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, discovered New Zealand and Tasmania on his first voyage but completely missed Australia. It wasn't until his second voyage that he realized what he had overlooked.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
13

During an Arctic expedition in the 50s, Peter Freuchen fashioned a chisel out of his feces in order to free himself after being trapped in an avalanche. He also amputated his own frozen toes.

During an Arctic expedition in the 50s, Peter Freuchen fashioned a chisel out of his feces in order to free himself after an avalanche. He also amputated his own frozen toes.Source: internationalpolicydigest.com, Image: wikipedia
12

When Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer, captured the Portuguese ship Madre de Deus, it was estimated to carry cargo worth half of England's national treasury.

When Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer, captured the Portuguese ship Madre de Deus, it was estimated to carry cargo worth half of England's national treasury.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
11

David Douglas, a Scottish explorer, died in Hawaii after falling into a pit and being crushed by a bull that had fallen into the same pit

David Douglas, a Scottish explorer, died in Hawaii after falling into a pit and being crushed by a bull that had fallen into the same pitSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
10

The Greek explorer Pytheas was the first person to discover the polar ice caps and the midnight sun. He also was also the first to suggest that the tides were caused by the moon.

The Greek explorer Pytheas was the first person to discover the polar ice caps and the midnight sun. He also was the first to suggest that the tides were caused by the moon.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
9

In 1962, Michael Siffre, a French explorer, spent 2 months buried beneath a glacier in total darkness to show that humans have an internal biological clock

In 1962, Michael Siffre, a French explorer, spent 2 months buried beneath a glacier in total darkness to show that humans have an internal biological clockSource: bbc.co.uk, Image: wikipedia
8

Mount Disappointment in Australia got its name when the explorers who stumbled across it found the view to be less than stellar

Mount Disappointment in Australia got its name when the explorers who stumbled across it found the view to be less than stellarSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
7

Venezuela got its name when Amerigo Vespucci saw how the natives had elevated their houses above the water, similar to Venice. Hence "Little Venice", or "Venezuela"

Venezuela got its name when Amerigo Vespucci saw how the natives had elevated their houses about the water, similar to Venice. Hence "Little Venice", or "Venezuela"Source: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
6

Columbus's ship captain, Rodrigo de Triana, was the first to spot land but Columbus claimed he had seen in several hours earlier already. In this way he secured the lifetime pension promised by King Ferdinand for being the first to make the sighting.

Columbus's ship captain, Rodrigo de Triana, was the first to spot land but Columbus claimed he had seen in several hours earlier already. In this way he secured the lifetime pension promised by King Ferdinand for being the first to make the sighting.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
5

While exploring South Dakota, Hugh Glass was left for dead by his group after being mauled by a grizzly bear. He then crawled 200 miles to the nearest settlement.

While exploring South Dakota, Hugh Glass was left for dead by his group after being mauled by a grizzly bear. He then crawled 200 miles to the nearest settlement.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
4

During the 1600s, British explorers came across something called “kê-chiap” in China. It was a blend of pickled fish and spice. It was later brought to the new world and came to be known as ketchup.

During the 1600s, British explorers came across something called “kê-chiap” in China. It was a blend of pickled fish and spice. It was later brought to the new world and came to be known as ketchup.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
3

Australia is also home to Lake Disappointment. It was named after an explorer followed numerous rivers and creeks to find a source of freshwater only to find that the lake was full of salt water.

Australia is also home to Lake Disappointment. It was named after an explorer followed numerous rivers and creeks to find a source of freshwater only to find that the lake was full of salt water.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
2

Richard Francis Burton was an English explorer who spoke more than 40 languages. He once snuck into Mecca in disguise and also translated the Kama Sutra into English.

Richard Francis Burton was an English explorer who spoke more than 40 languages. He once snuck into Mecca in disguise and translated the Kama Sutra into English.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
1

In 1925 British soldier Percival Harrison Fawcett died in the Amazon while looking for El Dorado. Over the past century, more than one hundred people have died trying to find his remains and the last expedition only got out alive after paying a ransom to their native captors

In 1925 British soldier Percival Harrison Fawcett died in the Amazon while looking for El Dorado. Over the past century, more than one hundred people have died trying to find his remains and the last expedition only got out alive after paying a ransom to their native captorsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
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