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The continent of Africa represented for many centuries a great mystery to the rest of the World. Its vast lands remained uncharted all up to late years of 19th century, when many European countries became invested into colonization of this continent. Beginning of this sudden European invasion process was made possible by the discoveries of many 19th century explorers (most notably David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley), as well by the efforts of much older explorers from Ancient Greece and Rome.
Welsh Australian geologist Sir Edgeworth David is today remembered as one of the most influential explorers of Antarctica, who in 1908 led the first mission to reach South Magnetic Pole. Learn more about him here.
Known as one of the greatest English naval officers of the 16th century, Sir Francis Drake lived his life on the sea as the privateer and explorer. Fighting his entire life against Spanish, he managed to circumvent the world in 1580.
Early years of 20th century are today remembered as one of the most exciting times for the explorers. In that short 25-year period, several important scientific journeys left their mark in the polar snows and history of the world. That time-period is today known as "Heroic Age of Polar Exploration".