Man's best friend?
Douglas Mawson and Xavier Mertz were on an expedition to Antarctica. After an accident left them without food, they had no choice but to eat their huskies. Anjali Nataraja warns you not to do the same
- By: Anjali Nataraja
Douglas Mawson (b 1882; d 1958) is an Australian national hero. A geologist and Antarctic explorer, he receives far less recognition than his contemporaries Scott and Shackleton. While on Shackleton's Nimrod Antarctic expedition (1907-9), Mawson vowed to explore 3200 km of virtually unknown coastline directly south of Australia.
As an academic, he had no interest in non-scientific endeavours and declined an invitation to join Scott in an attempt to reach the South Pole. Mawson decided to lead his own expedition as he was unable to secure the company of Shackleton (who, though interested, was unable to raise funding). After a fund raising effort that puts my pre-elective begging letters to shame, he raised the capital and secured the men, equipment, and supplies necessary and set out on the Australasian Antarctic expedition in November 1911.
After setting up two Antarctic exploring bases, and many detailed investigations (in geology, magnetism, meteorology, and