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polar exploration

Exploration of the Poles of the Earth
Image: iStockphoto.com/dagsjo

Exploration of the Poles of the Earth

While trekking to remote regions has long been a draw for adventurous people, it was just over 100 years ago that explorers reached both of the poles.

Meet the teams that made it to the North Pole and the South Pole at the turn of the 20th century. Then take a look at current research expeditions.

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Arctic Exploration 2002

Arctic Exploration 2002

A team of 50 scientists explored the Canada Basin in the summer of 2002. Read their daily updates of the hidden world of life they discovered in the frigid depths. More...

Article
NOAA
Arctic Passage

Arctic Passage

Two legendary explorers set out to find the Northwest Passage — a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific through the Arctic Ocean. Why did Franklin fail while Amundsen was triumphant? More...

Interactive
NOVA/PBS
Exploring Antarctica

Exploring Antarctica

Explorers may have reached the South Pole a century ago, but with its beautiful treacherous landscape, exploration of Antarctica continues. Witness surprising and surrealistic sights in this frozen desert. More...

Interactive
Washington Post
Exploring the Arctic Seafloor

Exploring the Arctic Seafloor

The remote landscape of the Arctic Ocean seabed revealed volcanoes and life-forms not known to exist before 2007. Explore the Gakkel Ridge to witness black sand, bacteria mats, a mystery creature, and more. More...

Interactive
NOVA/PBS
North Pole Expedition Photos

North Pole Expedition Photos

Obsessed with the Arctic, explorer Robert Peary tried for decades to reach the North Pole. Look at the historic photos of what he believed was a successful expedition in April 1909. More...

Images
National Geographic
Northern Exposure

Northern Exposure

Scientists exploring the Arctic's Canada Basin have trouble reaching their destination...and getting good data. Delve into their obstacles in trying to research the icy ocean and what lurks beneath. More...

Article
National Geographic
Polar Discovery: Arctic Seafloor Expedition

Polar Discovery: Arctic Seafloor Expedition

A 2007 expedition explored the cold, dark, remote seafloor of the Gakkel Ridge in the eastern Arctic Ocean. Meet the research team members and learn each one’s unique role. More...

Profile
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Polar Discovery: Arctic: The Frozen Ocean

Polar Discovery: Arctic: The Frozen Ocean

Start your own discovery of the icy realm at the top of the world to learn about its geography, ocean currents, ecosystem, and human involvement from hunters to explorers. More...

Article
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Polar Videos, News, and Facts

Polar Videos, News, and Facts

Our planet's northern and southern polar regions share icy extremes. Watch to see other similarities — and how they differ. More...

Video
BBC
Scott’s South Pole Expedition, 100 Years Later

Scott’s South Pole Expedition, 100 Years Later

Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole in 1912. His expedition team was not the first there, but its tragic end made it the most well-known. Watch their journey unfold in rare photos. More...

Images
National Geographic
South Pole Allied Challenge 2013

South Pole Allied Challenge 2013

Three teams of wounded servicemen and women are embarking upon an expedition to the South Pole. Follow their long journey, from cold weather training to their goal to reach the Pole. More...

Profile
Walking with the Wounded
The Race to the South Pole

The Race to the South Pole

Harsh and inhospitable, Antarctica is extremely difficult to explore. Discover how an international race to reach the frigid South Pole began heating up in the late 1800s. More...

Article
BBC
The South Pole(s)

The South Pole(s)

Scientists reposition the official marker of the South Pole every year. Find out why this has become an annual tradition and why the magnetic and geographic poles are far apart. More...

Interactive
Exploratorium
Today’s American Story: Will Steger

Today’s American Story: Will Steger

Wilderness explorer Will Steger has hiked and skied across the far reaches of the icy Arctic for decades. Discover what his travels reveal about climate change. More...

Profile
NBC

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