History of the discovery of Antarctica
The British considered the discoverer of the mainland of South James Cook in the period 1772 – 1775. After 50 years, from 5 July 1819 to 5 August 1821, Russian sailors under the command of F. Belinhauzena on the ship "Vostok" and "Mirny" (Captain Lazarev) made a voyage in the same latitudes, where were the Cook’s ships.
Sometimes their route went south route Cook sometimes - north. Records of Lazarev January 28, 1820 show that Russian explorers came so close to Antarctica, which could see the mainland ice, lying on the continent. But they were unable directly approach it through an impenetrable ice. Despite that Russians consider Belinhauzena F. and M. Lazarev pioneers Antarctica.
In another version of the first person who saw the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, was another famous navigator and explorer Edward Bransfield. It happened January 30, 1820. This land he named Trinity Land - now Trinity peninsula.
D.Vayhaupt Professor at the University of Colorado (USA) suggests that even in the Bronze Age, during periods when the climate was much warmer, sailors, who traded along the African coast, dare to penetrate far enough to the south. Yet he stressed that although the shape of Antarctica were known to ancient cartographers, the source of information - a complete mystery....
The first Antarctic research conducted sailors who were primarily attracted no new knowledge, and possible profit. Their names made history in the names of Antarctic lands: Kerguelen, Palmer, Biscoe, Uedell, Camp and many others. So the 40-ies of the XIX century seals that inhabited Islands Southern Ocean were virtually wiped out for their fat and skin, and is listed in the "Red Book".