Scott, Robert Falcon

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Scott, Robert Falcon,

1868–1912, British naval officer and antarctic explorer. He commanded two noted expeditions to AntarcticaAntarctica
, the fifth largest continent, c.5,500,000 sq mi (14,245,000 sq km), asymmetrically centered on the South Pole and almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle. Geology and Geography

Antarctica consists of two major regions: W Antarctica (c.
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. The first expedition (1901–4), in the Discovery, organized jointly by the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society and well equipped for scientific research, was concerned with exploration of the region around the Ross Sea. Scott's achievements included sounding the sea, discovering King Edward VII Land (now known as Edward VII Peninsula), surveying the coast of Victoria Land, and making a long, important exploring trip on the antarctic continent itself; he reached a new "farthest south" of 82°17'. On his return to England, Scott was promoted to captain in the navy and wrote an account of his expedition, The Voyage of the "Discovery" (1905).

In 1910 he again set forth for Antarctica, this time in search of the South Pole. His Terra Nova reached its base on the Ross Sea in 1911, and in November he started southward on foot toward the pole. Scott and his four companions pulled their heavy sledges by hand across the high polar plateau, proceeding in subzero weather the entire way. When they reached the South Pole on Jan. 18, 1912, they found that Roald AmundsenAmundsen, Roald
(Roald Engelbregt Grauning Amundsen) , 1872–1928, Norwegian polar explorer; the first person to reach the South Pole. He served (1897–99) as first mate on the Belgica
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, the Norwegian explorer, had preceded them by about one month. On their retreat the heroic party was beset by illness, lack of food, frostbite, blizzards, and autumn temperatures 10 to 20 degrees lower than Antarctica's bone-chilling average. All five members died, the last three overwhelmed by a blizzard when only a few miles from their depot. Their bodies were later recovered, together with Scott's diaries, the records, and the valuable scientific collections. Scott's journey has been considered by many one of the epic events of British exploration, but many modern biographers and scholars have accused him of a fatal inexperience in polar travel and a general incompetence that doomed him and his men. Scott's diaries and the scientific findings of the expedition are contained in Scott's Last Expedition (2 vol., 1913).


See A. Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World (1994); D. Preston, A First Rate Tragedy (1998); T. H. Baughman, Pilgrims on the Ice (1999); R. Huntford, The Last Place on Earth (1999); S. Solomon, The Coldest March (2001); R. Fiennes, Race to the Pole (2004); D. Crane, Scott of the Antarctic (2006); E. J. Larson, An Empire of Ice (2011).

Scott, Robert Falcon


Born June 6, 1868, in Devon-port; died circa Mar. 30, 1912, British antarctic explorer.

In the period 1901–04, Scott led an expedition that discovered Edward VII Peninsula and explored Victoria Land; from Ross Island the expedition proceeded as far as 82° 17’ S lat., traveling along a high mountain chain on the western edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. In early 1911, Scott returned to Antarctica on a second expedition and in November set out southward from Ross Island to the south pole; along with four companions, he reached the south pole on Jan. 18, 1912,33 days later than R. Amundsen. On the way back, all five perished. Mountains in Ender by Land, two glaciers (located at 110° E long, and 150° W long.), and an island in the Southern Ocean have been named in honor of Scott


In Russian translation:
Posledniaia ekspeditsiia R. Skotta: Dnevniki, proshchal’nye pis’ma, Moscow, 1955.’