Why Did Sir Douglas Mawson Go to the Antarctic?

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According to the BBC, Sir Douglas Mawson led an expedition to the Antarctic to explore unknown territory and advance scientific knowledge of the continent. He had been offered a place in Robert Falcon Scott's expedition, which was attempting to reach the South Pole first, but Mawson passed on the opportunity in order to lead his own expedition into the area of Antarctica south of Australia.

Sir Douglas Mawson's expedition began in 1912, when his crew set sail from the Australian port of Hobart. They established base camps along the coastline, creating supply stockpiles and instituting a wireless connection to the mainland. Mawson's goal was to explore new territory instead of racing to the pole along previously explored routes, and his ambition turned out to be his undoing. As it turned out, the region he had chosen to explore was home to some of the worst weather on the Antarctic continent, with winds that could reach 200 miles per hour. His three-man team encountered disaster, with one man and most of the supplies falling into a crevasse, and another succumbing to an unknown disease. Mawson himself barely made it back alive, returning to Australia in 1914 a national hero, despite the failure of his expedition.