What does disappointment look like? What is the expression on a man's face, expecting death in the icy wilderness?


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"The worst has happened", Robert F. Scott wrote in his diary on January 17, 1912. The same day, Scott and four of his men had reached the South Pole after two and a half month's march through the ice fields. From a distance, they had spotted what looked like a cairn. Scott initially thought they had been mistaken, but half an hour later, they discovered a huge flag that fluttered in the wind.

Upon reaching the Pole, they found traces from lots of dogs, skis, and sleds. "The Norwegians have forestalled us and are first at the Pole. It is a terrible disappointment", Scott writes on.

Two of the members of the expedition died during the march back. The other three - among them Scott himself - camped for the last time on March 19. The remains of which were found eight months later.

Herbert Ponting (1870 - 1935) was a photographer at Terra the Nova expedition, but because of his age (he was no less than 42 years old!), he wasn't expected to be joining the arduous expedition to the Pole. Henry Robertson Bowers was the photographer behind the images of the disappointed men at the South Pole. He sits on the left of the group photo. Two months later, he was dead, along with his leader Scott.

The Terra Nova Expedition, officially the British Antarctic Expedition, was an expedition to Antarctica which took place between 1910 and 1913. It was led by Robert Falcon Scott and had various scientific and geographical objectives.

More info: preusmuseum.no

#1 A Grotto In An Iceberg

A Grotto In An Iceberg

Herbert Ponting (1870 – 1935) was the expedition's official photographer. This is a beautiful shot, showing the "Terra Nova" from inside a grotto that was formed by an iceberg as it turned over, carrying a large floe which froze onto it. Both Ponting and Scott were struck by the colours of the ice inside this ice grotto; they were a rich mix of blues, purples and greens. Ponting thought... Read More

Herbert Ponting (1870 – 1935) was the expedition's official photographer. This is a beautiful shot, showing the "Terra Nova" from inside a grotto that was formed by an iceberg as it turned over, carrying a large floe which froze onto it. Both Ponting and Scott were struck by the colours of the ice inside this ice grotto; they were a rich mix of blues, purples and greens. Ponting thought that this photograph, framing the Terra Nova, was one of his best. Preus Museum's collection

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Yvonne Bernal 5 months ago

I cannot even imagine the awe they felt when they saw this!

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#2 Adélie Penguins At Cape Royds

Adélie Penguins At Cape Royds

Always adorable! Photo: Herbert Ponting, Preus Museum's collection

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Yvonne Bernal 5 months ago

Interesting fact... These are the smallest of the Antarctic penguins. One identifiable mark is their all black head and the white ring around their eye.

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#3 Amundsen's Tent At The South Pole

Amundsen's Tent At The South Pole

What a disappointment when the party found out that the Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had preceded them by 34 days. Not a good day for a party. In addition to the tent, the Norwegian flag and other traces, they found a letter to King Haakon VII of Norway (which Amundsen politely asked Scott to deliver) and a note stating that Amundsen had arrived there with four companions on... Read More

What a disappointment when the party found out that the Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen had preceded them by 34 days. Not a good day for a party. In addition to the tent, the Norwegian flag and other traces, they found a letter to King Haakon VII of Norway (which Amundsen politely asked Scott to deliver) and a note stating that Amundsen had arrived there with four companions on 16 December 1911. Photo: Henry R. Bowers, Preus Museum's collection

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Melody Lanzatella 5 months ago

I wonder what the Norwegians did differently??

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#4 Dog Team Resting By An Iceberg

Dog Team Resting By An Iceberg

Photo: Herbert Ponting, Preus Museum's collection

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#5 The Tenements

The Tenements

Photo: Herbert Ponting, Preus Museum's collection

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Yvonne Bernal 5 months ago

The bare necessities to say the least. Wow

#6 Capt. Scott Writing His Diary

Capt. Scott Writing His Diary

Photo: Herbert Ponting, Preus Museum's collection

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#7 The Five At The South Pole

The Five At The South Pole

Scott's party at the South Pole, 18 January 1912. Left to right: (standing) Edward Adrian Wilson (died March 29), Robert Falcon Scott (died March 29), Lawrence Oates (died March 17) (seated) Henry Robertson Bowers (died March 29), Edgar Evans (died March 17) Photo: Henry R. Bowers, Preus Museum's collection

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Jeanne Deaux 5 months ago

Aouch. Some of their face are burnt by the cold. They must suffer so much. Or maybe you don't feel anything anymore?

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#8 An Iceberg In Midsummer

An Iceberg In Midsummer

Look at the little person on the right! Photo: Herbert Ponting, Preus Museum's collection

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Daria B 5 months ago

The right part of this iceberg looks like a giant snow monster arising back from a long sleep, and the little human is the summoner.

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#9 The Polar Party On The Trail

The Polar Party On The Trail

Photo: Henry R. Bowers, Preus Museum's collection

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#10 The Last Rest

The Last Rest

On 12 November 2012, a search party found the tent containing the frozen bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers. After having read the relevant portions of Scott's diaries, the nature of the disaster was revealed. After diaries, personal effects and records had been collected, the tent was collapsed over the bodies and a cairn of snow erected, topped by a cross fashioned from Tryggve Gran's skis. The party searched further south... Read More

On 12 November 2012, a search party found the tent containing the frozen bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers. After having read the relevant portions of Scott's diaries, the nature of the disaster was revealed. After diaries, personal effects and records had been collected, the tent was collapsed over the bodies and a cairn of snow erected, topped by a cross fashioned from Tryggve Gran's skis. The party searched further south for Oates's body, but found only his sleeping bag. On 15 November, they raised a cairn near to where they believed he had died. Photo: Herbert Ponting, Preus Museum's collection

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Yvonne Bernal 5 months ago

A memorial . . . frozen in time

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