National Geographic : 1952 Sep
407 © lerbert G. Ponting Adelie Penguins Romp on Ice Below the Hot Mouth of Antarctica's Mount Erebus Ross Island abounds in emperors and Adelies, the only penguins found on the polar continent in great numbers. These comical "little men" delight and amaze every explorer reaching South Polar waters. Their meat and eggs have saved more than one adventurer from starvation. Here on Ross Island, Britain's Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, on his second expedition to Antarctica, set up winter quarters in 1911, hoping to be the first to attain the South Pole. After tremendous hardships, Scott and four companions reached their goal early the next year, only to discover Norway's flag already there. Explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them by one month. Sick with disappointment, Scott and his men began a terrible 940-mile journey back across the frozen wastes. Violent blizzards lashed them, food and fuel ran out, and all five men perished, three of them only 165 miles from their base at Cape Evans. Mount Erebus towers 13,200 feet above the sea, the only known living volcano in the Antarctic. Usually it wears a plume of vapor; occasionally it spits fire into the darkness. Below the volcano stands the great Ice Barrier, a 200-foot cliff running hundreds of miles across Ross Island and Ross Sea. Herbert G. Ponting, photographer for the second Scott expedition, made the picture on January 13, 1911. The National Geographic Society holds sole United States rights to many of his records of the Antarctic. Today Ponting's remarkable pictures are still esteemed for their quality, despite photography's advances during the past 40 years (pages 423, 424, and 428).