James Clark Ross, Mount Erebus, Michael Palin discussed on Think Again
Think. Again, a big thing podcast. Recently spent several hours on the transatlantic flight zooming in and out of the interactive map of the earth on my seats, personal entertainment unit exploring tiny islands in the polar north impossible inland. Seas in the middle of central Asian desserts places, so remote and strange that they fired the imagination in two thousand eighteen it's not easy to wrap your mind around the fact that not all that long ago. No human, no satellite had ever set. I on many of these places for all anybody knew much of the earth was probably populated by cyclops is and see monsters in the mid eighteen hundreds the poles north and south where the final frontiers and the brave men and even bit braver, perhaps women disguised as men who set off to explore them were quite literally heading into the unknown. My guest today is writer, actor comedian, and explorer, Michael Palin. He studied history at Oxford, then transformed comedy forever as a writer and performer in Monty python's flying circus since he's been traveling the world writing books and hosting travel. Documentaries. His latest book Erebus resurrects one of the greatest nautical mysteries of all time. And takes us deep into the icy heart of polar exploration in the mid nineteenth century, welcome to think again, Michael. Thank you Jason most to be here. So good to have you here. Thank you. So why this story now in two thousand eighteen well, I'm great believer in things just kind of tuition the particular fascination with this ship began when I was doing some research on quite a different subject. I was having to give a talk to club in London about a club members real club going back to eighteen thirty and I'd chosen a man called Joseph Hooker Joseph hookah was great botanist. And he sets up the Royal which cultural garden, gene in Q right in London, which some of the world's leading gorge, cultural time, anyway, turn out this guy. Spectacled whiskered Victorian. Jen have at the age of twenty two signed on as a system surgeon on a ship called Erebus the head of before and the more I research Joseph Hooker. The more became fascinated by the achievements of this ship Erebus that said eight thirty nine and herb is if I may interrupt Erebus the animosity of a demon what exactly Erebus was slightly confusion. But in Greek mythology Erebus was the son of chaos, and it really means Dr. Khust pit of hell one of the original titans or chaos was a titan titan. I this is this is something you'll listens to let me know about that. As far as I know in what I say when I do talk. Here's that arabists was ship named after the doc. His pitch of hell. Yeah. I say wouldn't that nowadays except the cruise line may be? That's what he's like not. That's what it's called. But anyway, it was this little ship. It was a small chip as one hundred four feet long. And it went down to the top to spent four years that join the expedition which was apart. They just saw things that people never ever seen before like in your introduction. You talking about sort of parts of the world for a long time remain completely undiscovered the taught it was definitely one of those people even know whether it was a continent. It was so there's a landmass that Erebus expedition, gyco James Clark Ross who was the captain discovered and confirmed that there was a land mass Gordon talk to they discovered extraordinary phenomena like the great southern barrier, which they called it, which is it was an ice barrier. One hundred foot high stretching for miles now known as the Ross I- shelf, then discovered a volcano called mount Erebus, Dan talk. Iq active and shooting fire active and shooting fine. And in the diaries of the people in the expedition series of wonders few months and the made two more expeditions. Deep into town together went round the Antarctic continent. They didn't find the south magnetic pole. That's what they were. The campaign was Ross Donges JD James Clark Ross yet he had found he discovered the north magnetic pole right in eighteen thirty one. So he wanted to be the man of the south magnetic pole as well. But he couldn't get that. Because of the ice because there was substantial landmass in front of him. But in every other respect it was a hugely successful expedi-. Yeah. I mean, what's extrordinary about the story that you tell I mean, first of all there's a lot of adventure..