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From our library of things you should know about the Arctic

Supermen of the North

During the search for the lost Franklin Expedition, no spectacle stirred the British public so much as Arctic exploration.

Newspaper artists embellished the adventures of these "supermen" - the "gladiators" of the Victorian era. They represented British might - conquering the brute force of the Arctic. Their sledges were given names like ships, and canvas sails billowed dramatically from tent poles. Folklore grew up around them.

The reality was somewhat different. Desperate to make their way through the ice, commanders used unusual and equally desperate methods to free their ships.

Ice obstacles were sometimes "blown up" using gunpowder inserted into empty wine bottles or food cans. "Canals" were sometimes sawn through the ice, and the ships were hauled through by straw-hatted, pigtailed, press-gang recruited, pathetically ill-equipped crews pulling ropes like barge horses.

GAME: Search for Franklin

Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Exploration
Franklin Expedition, Explorers
Links: Arctic, Franklin Expedition
Boats & Ships
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports

Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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