Roald Amundsen: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Roald Amundsen, the famous explorer.

  • Roald Amundsen was a Norwegian explorer. As well as navigating the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, he was the first person to reach the South Pole.

  • He was born in 1872 in Norway. He studied medicine as his mother had always wanted, although, as soon as she had died, he decided to become an explorer.
  • During the late 1880s he joined several Arctic expeditions, including the first one to survive the Arctic winter.
  • In 1903 he commanded an expedition to the North Pole and the Northwest Passage. Amundsen learned about surviving in cold places from the Eskimos, such as wearing animal skins instead of heavy furs.

Roald Amundsen

  • Roald Amundsen became determined to be the first person to reach the South Pole. Amundsen reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911, beating an expedition led by Captian Scott.
  • His trip was a success partly because their base was almost 100 km closer to the pole than Scott’s. The expedition also used lighter sleds and more appropriate clothing and equipment.
  • In 1918 he sailed to unknown parts of the Arctic Ocean. During this expedition, Amundsen broke his arm, was attacked by polar bears and his ship spent two winters frozen in the ice.
  • In 1926 he flew to the North Pole in 2 planes, and an airship measuring 35 metres long and filled with hydrogen. It took his team over 3 weeks to clear a runway suitable for the planes.
  • In June 1928 Roald Amundsen disappeared while flying on a rescue mission over the Arctic. It is assumed his plane crashed, although no bodies or wreckage were ever found.
  • Several bays, glaciers and coastal features in Antarctica are named after Amundsen. The Amundsen Trail in New York was named after him, as was the writer Roald Dahl.

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