Even The Antarctic Couldn’t Freeze His Will: Douglas Mawson - QuirkyKuirky

Even The Antarctic Couldn’t Freeze His Will: Douglas Mawson

They say where there is a will there is a way. But can the proverb inspire a soul stuck in the Antarctic, yes! This is the story of Douglas Mawson, a scientist from Australia, who dealt with severe adversities to live his dream of exploring the chilling hell, The Antarctic.

Image Source: Antartic Guide

On December 14, 1912, Douglas accompanied by two colleagues Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz was heading home after spending a few days in the Kelvinator refrigerator(Antartic). When they were 310 miles away from home, tragedy knocked and his colleague Ninnis fell into a deep open crack with their six dogs, most of the party’s rations, their tent and other essential supplies.

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Image Source: Cool Antartica

Mertz and Douglas now had to trudge through the frozen land on foot with little food. As they lost the tents, there was no shelter and to survive, they even ate the six husky’s pulling their sledge.


Image Source: Sppi Blog

The pair ingested enough liver to bring on a condition known as Hypervitaminosis A (Husky’s liver contains extremely high levels of vitamin A) and fell sick. Mertz ate more of the liver than Mawson so he severely suffered.  Eventually, Mertz died from cold and exhaustion, leaving Mawson to soldier the final 100 miles alone.

Image Source: Daily Mail

Bad luck said hello again when Mawson like Ninnis too fell in a crevasse. But somehow he gathered strength and managed to climb from the frozen grave. And finally after a gruesome struggle of 32 days, Mawson made it to his hut.

Image Source: Antartica.gov

At the base camp he was told that the ship that was supposed to sail him back home left a few minutes earlier assuming him to be dead and he had to wait for another ten months to retreat. Hearing this, Mawson sent a telegraph to his wife that read, “Deeply regret delay only just managed to reach hut.”








Shubhendu Punj

Teri ek boond ka pyaasa mai---o pyaar ke sagar!

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