One of the most memorable passages of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is the moment when his anti-hero, Captain Nemo, unfurls his vast black flag at the South Pole, claiming to be the first to have reached the beckoning goal.
But it would be flesh-and-blood characters who would write the real adventure stories of the Antarctic:
- Shackleton’s heroic attempts to reach the pole in a series of expeditions, none of them successful
- the tragic death of Robert Falcon Scott at the pole, following the bitter discovery that Amundsen had beaten him to it by a matter of days
- finally, the efforts made by Vice Admiral Robert Byrd to establish a permanent U.S. presence in Antarctica - the research station known as “Little America”