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Nils Larsen Becomes the First to Have Ever to Set Foot on Peter 1 Island

Nils Larsen: A Famous Sea Captain and Whaler

Born on the 19th of June 1900 in Sandar, Nils Larsen was a sea captain of Norwegian origin. As a sea or ship captain, he was a licensed mariner commanding a merchant’s vessel. He was responsible for the ship’s safety, efficiency, seaworthiness, and cargo.

Nils Larsen was a noted whaler who captained several whaling ships, namely Thor Dahl A/S of Sanderfjold. A whaler or whaling ship is a vessel with special equipment to catch and process whales. 

Nils Larsen: Norvegia Expeditions of Antarctica 

Talking of Norvegia explorations in Antarctica without the name of Nils Larsen leads to a half-baked story. Serving as a first mate, he was in the thick of things during the Norvegia voyages, which Lars Christensen, a Norwegian, bankrolled. These Norvegian expeditions carved a name for Nils Larsen as it became synonymous with them. 

While on these scientific explorations, Norway, Nils Larsen’s birth country, annexed Bouvet Island and Peter I Island. As fate would be on the side of Nils Larsen, he changed the course of history by becoming the first person to step on Peter I Island.

As a remote Island in Antarctica, Peter I Island isn’t easy to access, and for this reason, it has found its way in the Atlas of Remote Islands. But Nils Larsen, an adventurous sea captain, and whaler achieved a great feat when he set foot on an inhabited island. What makes this island remote is it’s located 260 miles from the nearest coast and, as a result, many people haven’t reached it or even been aware of it.

In contrast, Feb. of 1929 marks a historic day in Norway when Nils Larsen ‘conquered’ Peter I Island by stepping on it. In the same year and month, Nils Larsen claimed the island for his country. However, sometime later, the Antarctic Treaty nullified the claim.

Nils Larsen: Celebrated for His Contributions to the Antarctica Explorations

Nils Larsen (19 June 1900-29 September 1976) still evokes fond memories of the Antarctica expeditions. His contributions to unprecedented scientific discoveries have been noted in many circles. As an accomplished sea captain, whaler, and explorer, he’ll live on in people’s minds as someone who contributed to society through scientific knowledge.

As a way to celebrate his achievements, there are geographical names named after him, including Mount Nils Larsen (Queen Maud Land), Nils Larsen Glacier (Peter I Island), and Mount Nils (Enderby Land).