December 14, 1911: Amundsen reaches South Pole

Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott.

Amundsen, born in Borge, near Oslo, in 1872, was one of the great figures in polar exploration. In 1897, he was first mate on a Belgian expedition that was the first ever to winter in the Antarctic. In 1903, he guided the 47-ton sloop Gjöa through the Northwest Passage and around the Canadian coast, the first navigator to accomplish the treacherous journey. Amundsen planned to be the first man to the North Pole, and he was about to embark in 1909 when he learned that the American Robert Peary had achieved the feat.

Amundsen completed his preparations and in June 1910 sailed instead for Antarctica, where the English explorer Robert F. Scott was also headed with the aim of reaching the South Pole. In early 1911, Amundsen sailed his ship into Antarctica’s Bay of Whales and set up base camp 60 miles closer to the pole than Scott. In October, both explorers set off–Amundsen using sleigh dogs, and Scott employing Siberian motor sledges, Siberian ponies, and dogs. On December 14, 1911, Amundsen’s expedition won the race to the Pole and returned safely to base camp in late January.

Scott’s expedition was less fortunate. The motor sleds broke down, the ponies had to be shot, and the dog teams were sent back as Scott and four companions continued on foot. On January 18, 1912, they reached the pole only to find that Amundsen had preceded them by over a month. Weather on the return journey was exceptionally bad–two members perished–and a storm later trapped Scott and the other two survivors in their tent only 11 miles from their base camp. Scott’s frozen body was found later that year.

After his historic Antarctic journey, Amundsen established a successful shipping business. He later made attempts to become the first explorer to fly over the North Pole. In 1925, in an airplane, he flew within 150 miles of the goal. In 1926, he passed over the North Pole in a dirigible just three days after American explorer Richard E. Byrd had apparently done so in an aircraft. In 1996, a diary that Byrd had kept on the flight was found that seemed to suggest that the he had turned back 150 miles short of its goal because of an oil leak, making Amundsen’s dirigible expedition the first flight over the North Pole.

In 1928, Amundsen lost his life while trying to rescue a fellow explorer whose dirigible had crashed at sea near Spitsbergen, Norway.

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Sip on Any of These Teas to Stop Your Bloating in Its Tracks

When bloating comes out of nowhere and ruins your life day, you’re left frantically searching for the best cure to banish your belly. There are actually many ways to relieve bloating, but one of our favorites is with a hot cup of tea. Certain herbs and roots have properties that can alleviate inflammation and distress in your gastrointestinal tract, therefore helping to eliminate the distention in your lower abdomen. Here are some go-to recommendations not just from us, but also from the tea experts themselves. While there may not be much scientific evidence proving that tea relieves bloating or GI issues, it can certainly be a holistic supplemental practice that helps you along the way.

Dandelion

Kristina Richens, certified tea expert and minister of commerce at The Republic of Tea, told POPSUGAR that this floral tea “can help eliminate excess water weight” and noted that “this small, yellow flower dots meadows around the world, [but] its roots are known as a powerhouse of healthy benefits” within naturopathic and homeopathic medicine. “The dandelion’s use traces back to the 10th century, when Arabian physicians revered the root for its cleansing properties and as a natural aid for digestion.”

Fennel

Slightly licorice-esque in taste, fennel is an anti-inflammatory and can help relax the muscles in your GI tract, which can ease an upset stomach and help with bloating.

Ginger

Ginger is something of a digestive cure-all. You can make your own ginger tea at home or brew up something in a bag. Billy Dietz, tea specialist at DavidsTea, recommends a blend called Le Digestif that combines some debloating powerhouses: “a mix of apple mint, fennel, ginger, and peppermint.”

Lemon

While not a “tea” per se, a hot cup of lemon water does wonders for digestion and bloating. If you need a little more oomph in your morning hot cup, try adding some fresh-squeezed lemon to lemon-peel tea or metabolism-boosting green tea and let the distention melt away.

Chamomile

Yes, chamomile will help you sleep and de-stress, but did you know chamomile is also a powerful anti-inflammatory? Dr. Andrew Weil (creator of the anti-inflammatory diet) recommends this herbal brew for upset stomachs, indigestion, and even menstrual pain.

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