10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

April 28

10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

We have all heard of great and famous explorers from unknown places on Earth like Columbus, Marco Polo, Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart etc. But the world has always been full of people with a thirst to know more, to go further, to limit their curiosity and their desire not to leave this world without exploring the unexplored. 

In this post we show you 10 of the greatest adventurers, their expeditions and the contributions they have left to humanity and the Earth. 


May French Sheldon - 10 Adventurous Explorers Who Changed The World With Their Expeditions

In order to show that women could also be explorers, May French Sheldon managed to organize an expedition to Kilimanjaro, in which, with her imperturbable and decisive, but sensitive personality, she gained the love and respect of her companions and the trust of the tribes he met. She is known, for good reason, as the "White Queen of Kilimanjaro."

Born in 1847, in Pennsylvania. His mother was dedicated to the study of medicine and his father owned numerous plantations. In 1891 she decided to leave everything to go to discover Mombasa followed by a team of 150 people who decided to accompany her.

May's luggage, in addition to incorporating the essential material for an expedition of this size, also included a series of luxury objects such as a zinc bathtub, sheets, porcelain cutlery and a large wardrobe, which could be interpreted as an intention to the woman for travelreally comfortable, but in reality, it was part of a strategy he would employ when making contact with the tribes. She would rather act like a grateful hostess or foreigner than do it with violence. Thus, the crockery was used to offer a good banquet to the natives, and the rest of the objects became gifts of all kinds that he gave to the natives of the lands he visited.

After many nights of camping and contact with the peoples of the region, the White Queen found north of Kilimanjaro, the region of the Masais. In 1982, he published a memoir called "From sultan to sultan" where he recounted in detail his experiences, emotions and the beauty of the African landscape.

When she returned, May was appointed a member of the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain and of various anthropological associations. Again, from the warmth of her home, she could breathe easy, because after so many adventures she had shown the world that, with will and tenacity, women were more than capable of doing the same as men.


Mary Kingsley- 10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

The story of this fearless woman begins with a trip to Africa accompanied by a tea bag, a toothbrush and a comb; And we say that her story has its beginning with the journey because, before that, Kingsley's life was based on trying to understand why her brother could study a university degree at Cambridge, while she was limited to studying German to translate the articles that his father wrote.

Luckily or unfortunately, Mary's luck changed when she was still under 30 years old, and both of her parents passed away. He was then aware that it would take a few months for someone to guard him again, and he felt, for the first time in his life, free. He decided that it was time to consider traveling.

In her imagination she had envisioned the African continent as a very attractive destination, but in 1893 it was quite difficult for a woman to travel alone to Africa. Despite criticism and limitations, Mary managed to board a ship from Liverpool bound for Sierra Leone. Later, he explored the coast of the Gulf of Guinea to Luanda, Angola, and later he entered Nigeria.

The objective of their expeditions was to know and integrate into the customs of the local peoples. In addition, their scientific work was focused on participatory observation, which meant coexistence with the tribes. Mary is one of the forerunners of cultural anthropology and one of the first ethnographers to develop true field work.

One of the events that let us see the character and daring of the explorer was when she managed to get out of a confrontation with a leopard, hitting it with a jug of water.


Ronald Amundsen- 10 explorers who changed the world with their expeditions


Leading the expedition that reached the South Pole for the first time in history is very valid reason to affirm that an explorer has transformed the world. Roald Amundsen's career was full of adventure and feat, but this was undoubtedly the most important of his life. This Norwegian man was always clear about his goals, and he achieved them; He was the first to reach the South Pole, and the first to fly over the North Pole.

Tenacious and visionary, Amundsen was born in 1872 in Norway, into a family of sailors and fishermen who dreamed of following in the footsteps of Fridtjof Nansen, a compatriot who crossed Greenland when he was young.

When both of his parents pass away, Roald decides to abandon his medical studies to replace them by boarding a boat dedicated to seal fishing. His experience in this and in the successive ships in which he was embarking allowed him in 1987 to join as a second officer to an expedition to the Antarctica, which ended up becoming the first march to experience an Antarctic wintering in history.

After overcoming this experience and returning home, Admundsen's mind begins to outline a very clear objective: to see if there is a passage that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans along their northern border; and thus discover the Northwest Passage.

He decides to buy a small fishing boat for seals and, in 1903, he sets out to sea together with 6 companions in search of his life goal. During the journey, the ship ran aground in Ross Strait and the crew had to spend the winter on King William Island, where they fraternized with the Eskimos and observed how they lived in that environment. The discoveries they were making at King William were so stimulating that when summer came, the expedition members decided to stay on the island for another year. Finally, on August 13, 1905, they resumed a difficult navigation between Victoria Island and the Continent. On August 27 they find a whaler from San Francisco, coming from the west. They had accomplished the mission.

Although this was the explorer's most acclaimed achievement, there were many more; he wanted to reach, and reached, the South Pole, he learned to fly by participating in the first overflight of the North Pole, and in his repetition of the experience he crashed into the ice. His body was never found.


10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions- Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone

"Doctor Livingstone, I suppose."It is the mythical phrase that has remained from the most famous reunion in history. On November 10, 1871, Henry Stanley found in a remote village located near Lake Tanganyika, after almost a year searching for the explorer David Livingstone, who had been two years without showing signs of life and more than 6 wandering through the interior of the continent .

Livingstone first set foot in Africa at the hands of the London Missionary Society with the intention of bringing the word of God to the southern regions, but his travels and experiences were hardening in him an explorer's spirit that he could not refuse to live . Thanks to following his instincts, Livingstone traveled where no foreigner had traveled until now, which allowed him to make discoveries such as Lake Ngami, which awarded him the medal of the Royal Geographical Society or give them their name to Victoria Falls. He crossed Africa from Luanda to Mozambique and became a natural scholar of the river systems of the great central African basin.

Stanley, for his part, far from being an intrepid explorer, made his living as a journalist and the New York Herald newspaper offered him $ 20.000 in exchange for searching, finding and returning to communicate it, to the most famous explorer of the XNUMXth century: the doctor. Livingstone.

When Stanley found him, he stayed with him for five months. During that time, the journalist accompanied the doctor on his expeditions and adventures. Stanley proposed to Livingstone to return to him, but Livingstone flatly refused. In March 1872 they both said goodbye never to see each other again. The doctor died the following year in a small town on Lake Bangweulu, Zambia.


Alexandra David Neel- 10 Adventurous Explorers Who Changed The World With Their Expeditions

The first western woman to set foot in Tibet. More specifically, the city of Lhasa, the capital of the country, whose entry was strictly prohibited to all foreigners.

This woman of French origin, writer, thinker and adventurer, was born in 1868 in the nucleus of the European high society of the moment. Although his mother gave him an education based on Faith, religion and appearances, his father showed him the revolutionary and real side of life, he transmitted values ​​such as ambition, curiosity and nonconformity. Thus, before turning 25, the young woman had already visited India and Tunisia, and toured parts of Spain riding a bicycle. All this she managed to do alone, without companions. Her life consisted of a succession of trips, experiences, learnings and adventures, but her main objective was still to cross the capital of Tibet and whenever she tried she ended up being arrested and deported. In the end, in order to gain access to the city, Alexandra drew up a plan. She and her fellow adventurer dressed up as beggars and, in the words of David Neel, this is what happened: "We told everyone that we were looking for medicinal herbs. Yongden pretended to be my son. We decided to travel at night and rest during the day. Travel like ghosts, invisible to the eyes of others. " When they reached the entrance of the city, a sandstorm helped them to go unnoticed. After four months and two thousand kilometers on foot through the Himalayas, Alexandra achieved her goal.


Eileen Collins- 10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

"We feel the same fascination as men for space, and it will get easier and easier because prejudices and barriers are finally falling. "

Eileen Collins changed the history of space aviation on July 20, 1999, the day she became the first woman in history to command a space shuttle. She is known as "the rocket woman" and it is not surprising, since, in addition to piloting the shuttle, she was the first commander of a special mission and participated in four space flights.

His career is, to say the least, remarkable, beginning because he was born into a humble family that could not easily afford to pay for his studies at the university; However, the pilot managed to study and graduate in Science and Mathematics in 1976 and later, in 1979, graduated in Mathematics and Economics. She was the only woman in her class. That same year (1979) he was also a member of the Ninety-nines, a group of pioneering women in claiming the rights of female aviators. The following year he obtained his pilot rating at an Air Base in Oklahoma.

After two years at the Air Force Academy, he earned the reputation of being a good pilot, and a year later he passed the tests to become an astronaut. Her position in charge of a space flight in 1995 would make her a great professional, which would later help NASA decide that she would be the one to command, for the first time in its history, a shuttle.


Michael Fay- 10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions


In 1999, J. Michael Fay traveled on foot on a journey that began in the Republic of the Congo and ended 456 days later on the coast of Gabon. The explorer wore open-toe sandals throughout the journey, and did not replace them with other footwear at any time. The flesh protruding from the sandal supposed that, on the eleventh day of the route, Fay's feet were full of worms that had begun to penetrate her toes to the point of rotting them.

The journey had an extension of 3200 kilometers. Fay collected an enormous amount of data, and was confident that his trip, sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Geographic Society, would bring attention to the last pristine forest in central Africa. And he got it. The Gabonese government, moved by the feat and the courage that Fay had dedicated, converted an area of ​​28.500 square kilometers into a system of 13 national parks.

Fray contributed greatly to the transformation for the better of large-scale conservation on the continent.


Nirmal Purja- 10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

What stands out most about this Nepalese mountaineer is the criticism he has received for his technique and for the resources he has used to become the fastest to climb the highest mountains on the planet. However, no one can deny his achievements: it took him less than a year to crown 14 eight-thousand.

Away from a life rich in comfort or economic stability, the Nepalese attended school and combined his classes and duties with various jobs to help at home, and, surrounded by a large family and deprivation of all kinds, he emerged from childhood converted into a Gurka soldier in the UK infantry, where he remained for 16 years. He left everything to become a mountaineer.

Nirmal Purja not only became a mountaineer, but he also proposed a project called "Project Possible 14/7" which consisted of climbing the 14 peaks that exceed 8.000 meters in height in seven months. It began on April 23 in Nepal, when he conquered the 8.091-meter Annapurna. In 2019 he crowned the 14 'eight-thousand' in the fastest way he could. Until that moment the record was seven years, 10 months and six days. The Nepalese did it in six months and six days.

"If I wanted to break a record I could have said, 'I'll do it in seven years,' but it wasn't about being better. I wanted to show the world what was possible from a human point of view if you throw in the rest and put your mind, heart and soul into it. I wanted to pay tribute to Nepalese climbers. For the last 100 years we have been on the back burner. The 'eight thousand' are our terrain. I felt like I had to do something and that's what gave me energy ”.


Victor Vescobo- 10 adventurous explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

Traveling (almost) to the center of the Earth is no longer just a matter of Jules Verne's books: in 2019 a team of four, led by Víctor Vescovo, submerged under the waters of the Pacific to reach the most remote point to which it has someone ever arrived. They did not descend further, not because of technological limitations, but because they reached the deepest point of the oceanic waters of the planet.

Although Vescovo considers himself an athletic person, united to nature and akin to adventure, he took a path in his life that was far from dedication to exploration, as he is a businessman and investor, however, his great love for The ocean has encouraged that, on board a submersible, it has broken the record for making the deepest dive, located specifically in the Mariana Trench. 

The team, led by Vescovo and three other people, descended almost 11 km below the surface, a depth, specifically 10.928 meters. From when they entered the water, until they saw the light of the sky again, 12 hours passed. 4 downhill, 4 uphill, and the rest was spent living the experience of visiting what no one has ever visited, and seeing for the first time, surrounded by darkness and silence, what the frozen waters of the Pacific hide.

“70% of the Earth is under water and most of it is more than 4.000 meters deep. It is a hostile environment. That's why we built this submarine, to start scratching at it. "(Victor Vescovo).

The discoveries that were made as a result of this adventure were, to say the least, interesting: on the one hand, three new aquatic species were found. In addition, some fish that had never been seen were discovered in the depths of Challenger's Deep.

But the expedition also had its bitter part, because the most interesting and chilling part of the trip, far from the euphoria of discovering that there are still species and animals that we do not know, is that it was found 11 kilometers from the outside, something very familiar to us: an impressive and alarming amount of plastic. It is sad that before us, the consequences of our worst version reach the bottom of the sea.


Sylvia Earle- 10 explorers who changed the world with their expeditions

This oceanographer is recognized as "Hero of the Planet" by Time magazine, and it is not surprising, in 1980, she descended 381 meters deep in what was the deepest dive made lung when she walked on the seabed of Oahu in a pressurized suit named Jim.

The heroine He was born in New Jersey in 1935, and at the age of 12 he went with his family to Florida, to live in a house by the sea, which would mark his life ever since. The fauna and flora that reached the coast greatly attracted his attention until, at the age of 17, he made his first scuba dive and was able to see the sea from within. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle is over 80 years old and has spent more than 7.000 hours underwater.

She was the first chief scientist in the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and while still a student, she was one of the first marine scientists to use scuba gear in her work. And that is just a small part of the records of this ocean explorer: she led the first team of female aquanauts who would live for two weeks in an underwater habitat.

"As I tread the ocean floor, I know that I am entering terrain similar in some respects to a lunar landscape," Sylvia wrote in the National Geographic. "They are both charmingly similar in appearance and both have been inaccessible and unexplored until relatively recently.".

As you have already seen, it is not all figured out yet, you can always fly a little higher, fly a little deeper or take a little more risk. We hope that the exploits of these 10 explorers will encourage you to start in the world of adventure and leave your mark in some inhospitable corner of the planet too!

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