A notebook from Robert Scott’s Antarctic expedition has been found after a hundred years, trapped in the ice of the frozen continent, New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust said. It belonged to scientist George Murray Levick and was discovered outside Scott’s 1911 Terra Nova base during last year’s summer ice melt. The writing in the book that is found, is still very legible. It has Levick’s name in the front page. The binding of the book has however dissolved as the continent is covered with ice, the trust’s executive director Nigel Watson told the press.
“It’s an exciting find. The notebook is a missing part of the official expedition record,” he said. “After spending seven years conserving Scott’s last expedition building and collection, we are delighted to still be finding new artefacts.”
Watson said the pages of the notebook were taken to New Zealand and individually restored, then given new binding and returned to Antarctica, where the trust is working to preserve five sites used by explorers Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edmund Hillary. Scott’s expedition split into two groups after reaching the Antarctic, with the leader’s contingent reaching the South Pole on January 17, 1912, only to find Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten them there a month earlier.
Scott and his companions later died of exposure and starvation. Levick was in the other group, which travelled along the coast to make scientific observations but became stranded from the base camp when pack ice prevented their ship from picking them up. The six men all survived the Antarctic winter by digging a cave in the ice and eating local wildlife, including penguins and seals.
Surgeon, zoologist, and photographer George Murray Levick took part in a 1910-1913 Antarctic expedition as part of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s crew, and while Scott perished on a journey back from the South Pole, Levick made it off the continent alive. He didn’t accompany Scott to the pole, but survived the winter of 1912 by eating blubber in an ice cave before walking 200 miles to safety, The Guardian reports. His observations on necrophilia, murder, and rape by Adelie penguins while stationed at Cape Adare surfaced in 2012. Now researchers are learning more about the British explorer thanks to the “exciting” new find.
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