Who is Roald Amundsen?

Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) was a Norwegian explorer that was quite interested in polar excavation, and later became the first person to fly over the North Pole in a dirigible, which took place between May 11th and 13th, 1926. Amundsen was also the first individual to make it to the South Pole. With the help of a small group of companions, Amundsen came across the South Pole on December 14, 1911 , his method of transportation , a sled pulled by dogs.

Another first that Amundsen is associated with is the title of being the first individual to sail around the world using the Northeast and Northwest passages, traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This took place in 1905. When it comes to the North and South Poles, he was the first person to reach both. Sadly, Amundsen did not loss his life while exploring new and intriguing territory; he died in a plane crash while he attempted to rescue a friend named Umberto Nobile (an Italian explorer) who was lost in an airship.

Facts About Roald Amundsen

1) As a key leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, Amundsen joined the likes of Douglas Mawson (a Yorkshire, England geologist who identified the mineral Davidnite), Robert Falcon Scott (British Royal Naval officer and explorer), and Ernest Shackleton (Anglo-Irish explorer and former merchant Naval officer), Amundsen served as a key expedition leader during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. During this time period in exploration, people were interested in learning the ins and outs of the Antarctic continent. From the end of the 19th century to the early 1920s, 16 major expeditions took place , involving eight different countries.

2) The explorer’s full name was Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen.

3) Amundsen was able to successfully make his way through the Northwest Passage by learning Arctic survival skills from the local Netsilik people. They taught him how to use sled dogs to his advantage, as well as how to wear animal skins instead of woolen parkas that could become a heavy burden on the body. Due to these skills, Amundsen emerged out of a winter trapped in the ice, so that he could travel through a passage into the Beaufort Sea. He then cleared into the Bering Strait, making his way through the Northwest Passage.

4) When Amundsen embarked on the journey to find his lost friend, he is recorded as disappearing on June 18, 1928. With him, Norwegian pilot Leif Dietrichson, French pilot Rene Guilbaud, and three more Frenchmen were declared lost. Researchers believe that their plane crashed in the Barents Sea , a result of foggy conditions. Since his body was never recovered, it is assumed that Amundsen was killed in the crash, or died shortly after the crash.

5) Amundsen left behind quite a legacy , a great deal of places and locations have been named after the great explorer, including Amundsen Sea (located off the coast of Antarctica), Amundsen Glacier (found in Antarctica), Amundsen Gulf (situated in the Arctic Ocean – just off the coast of the Northwest Territories in Canada), large crater found on the south pole of the Moon called the Amundsen Crater, the Amundsen Trail (Staten Island, New York), and Amundsen High School (in Chicago, Illinois). Interestingly, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station shares both Amundsen’s and his rival’s name.