Ernest Shackleton Google Doodle: Antarctic Explorer
Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic Hero, Celebrated in Google Doodle
Ernest Shackleton is celebrated in today's Google Doodle. Born in Ireland on February 15, 1874 Shackleton was a polar explorer whose doomed expeditions to Antarctica landed him in the history books for feats of triumph over mind-blowing odds. Shackleton's career is defined by a burning desire to explore, a casual approach to personal safety, and a propensity to play soccer on the ice.
Ernest Shackleton first tried to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1901, but was beaten by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.
In 1908, Ernest Shackleton returned to Antarctica, landing at McMurdo Sound aboard the Nimrod. The expedition was successful, in that it roughly located the magnetic South Pole, climbed Mt. Erebus, and discovered the Southern Plateau. Shackleton's crew had to leave the whisky behind, though. You'll be happy to learn that, a hundred years later, a team of rugged Kiwis rescued the Shackleton Expedition's whisky.
Ernest Shackleton's most famous expedition was that of the Endurance, whose crew was tasked with crossing the Antarctic continent from sea to sea. The journey, began in 1914, was a dismal and near-disastrous failure. the Endurance became mired in ice in the Weddell Sea in early 1915, where it was slowly crushed over the course of nine months. After staying at the aptly-named Patience Camp for a few months, the crew rowed to Elephant Island, which was about as hospitable as you'd expect. However, it wasn't solid ice, and was the first dry land that the team had seen in a year and a half.
Ernest Shackleton and his team knew that they couldn't stay on Elephant Island for long, unless they wanted to change its name to We're All Gonna Die Here Island. Shackleton and five others rowed to South Georgia, off the coast of Argentina. Beset by storms and freezing weather, the team managed to reach a whaling station and organize a rescue party to retrieve the rest of their team from Elephant Island.
Total number of deaths in the Endurance expedition: 0.
Ernest Shackleton somehow survived until the age of 47, when he died of a heart attack aboard a ship heading for... wait for it... Antarctica. In fact, he died just moments after being urged by the ship's doctor to give up booze. He is buried on South Georgia Island.
We get that the thundersnow really messed up your commute, but it didn't force you to cross part of a frozen continent on foot while carrying a boat and then row to Argentina. So, yeah, Shackleton gets a Google Doodle.
[I learned the above by reading a few books about Shackleton. I recommend South, written by the man himself; and Endurance, by Caroline Alexander, particularly for Frank Hurley's otherworldly photos.]