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Antarctica Was Discovered Today in 1820!

Antarctica Discovered in 1820

Thanks to American Nathaniel Palmer, we discovered Antarctica today in 1820.

While the North Pole gets plenty of attention (thanks, Santa), the South Pole isn’t quite as popular. That might not just be thanks to its frigid location, though. The southernmost part of our globe is a relatively new discovery to us!

Antarctica wasn’t discovered until 1820. In fact, this continent was discovered today (November 18th) just under two centuries ago.

We have Nathaniel Brown Palmer, an American sealer and captain of the Hero, to thank for this discovery. As sealing was gaining popularity in the southernmost part of the globe in the early 1800s, Palmer was exploring new territories in search of seal populations that hadn’t yet been depleted by the sealing industry.

Aboard the Hero, a small sloop with a crew of just five men, Palmer laid eyes on land across the Orleans Channel. Today, both Palmer Land (a portion of the Antarctic Peninsula) and Palmer Archipelago are named after this American explorer.

Archeological evidence indicates the Native Americans and First Nations People in Canada have been hunting seals for at least 4,000 years. Traditionally, when an Inuit boy killed his first seal or caribou, a feast was held. The meat was an important source of fat, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and iron,[9] and the pelts were prized for their warmth. The Inuit diet is rich in fish, whale, and seal.

There were approximately 150,000 circumpolar Inuit in 2005 in Greenland, Alaska, Russia, and Canada.[10] According to Kirt Ejesiak, former secretary and chief of staff to then-Premier of Nunavut, Paul Okalik and the first Inuk from Nunavut to attend Harvard, for the c. 46,000 Canadian Inuit, the seal was not “just a source of cash through fur sales, but the keystone of their culture. Although Inuit harvest and hunt many species that inhabit the desert tundra and ice platforms, the seal is their mainstay. The Inuktitut vocabulary designates specific objects made from seal bone, sinew, fat and fur used as tools, games, thread, cords, fuel, clothing, boats, and tents. There are also words referring to seasons, topography, place names, legends, and kinship relationships based on the seal.

Want to do some exploring of your own? Don’t miss the latest program from The Maria Sanchez Show! Maria Sanchez will be joining Senator Michael D. Brown on his show Shadow Politics to explore the current state of political affairs in our country.

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