card
322

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

OLogy Series
ologist
card
322

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

OLogy Series
ologist

Apsley Cherry-Garrard was 24 when he joined Robert Scott's expedition to Antarctica. Known as "Cherry," he was one of the youngest members on the team. As an assistant zoologist, he joined a 3-man expedition in the dark Antarctic winter to collect penguin eggs. After returning from Antarctica, Cherry-Garrard wrote The Worst Journey in the World, one of the most famous stories of polar exploration.

The Worst Journey in the World
When Scott's team arrived in Antarctica, they set up a base camp to wait out the winter. But three men--Cherry-Garrard, Henry Bowers, and a scientist Dr. Edward Wilson--ventured out into the cold, dark Antarctic winter on a grueling expedition. Their mission was to bring back eggs of the emperor penguin.

Dr. Wilson had traveled to Antarctica before and discovered the first-known colony of these large penguins. He was determined to return to the colony and collect their eggs for scientific study. But the journey had to take place during the winter, which is when the female emperor penguin lays her single egg. During the five-week trip, the men endured howling blizzards, frostbite, never-ending darkness, and snow-blindness. But they survived and returned with the eggs.

Why did these men risk their lives for bird eggs? Dr. Wilson was convinced that the emperor penguin was the most primitive of living birds. He wanted to examine their eggs to study his theory that birds and reptiles were related.

The Sun did not rise during the winter exped- ition to collect penguin eggs. To make their way in the dark, the 3-man team often relied on:

flashlights

binoculars

Jupiter and the Moon

Are you right?

Correct!

In the middle of the day, there was only enough light to see the holes made by their feet. Sometimes they used a candle, but they generally steered by Jupiter. "I never see Jupiter now without recalling his friendship in those days," Cherry remembered.

To protect themselves from the bitter cold and wind, the British team wore mostly wool. During the trek, Cherry found that the wool clothing:

became wet and froze

protected him from frostbite

stayed warm and dry against his skin

Are you right?

Correct!

The wool was supposed to "breathe," letting sweat pass through and dry. But because the men were working so hard, their sweat built up and actually froze. One morning, Cherry stood outside his tent and his clothes froze in just fifteen seconds!

 Apsley Cherry-Garrard, explorer

Why is the embryo of the emperor penguin so important to science? The emperor is probably the most primitive bird in existence... it may prove the missing link between birds and reptiles.

Cherry-Garrard had a lot of experience with polar exploration before he joined Scott's expedition.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

He was an Oxford graduate from a wealthy family, with no experience in polar exploration. But he proved to be a tough explorer and important member of the team.

Scott paid Cherry-Garrard to join his expedition to Antarctica.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Cherry-Garrard actually paid Scott 1000 pounds to be a part of the expedition. That's more than $100,000 in today's U.S. dollars.

Lived: 1886-1959 Nickname: Cherry
Hometown: Bedford, United Kingdom
Job: assistant zoologist on expedition
Cool Fact: Cherry-Garrard edited the
South Polar Times, an illustrated newsletter
the men created during the expedition.
Cool Fact: Cherry-Garrard later became the expedition's best-known storyteller. In 1922, he published the book The Worst Journey in the World. It is still in print today!

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH;  Apsley Cherry-Garrard: courtesty of AMNH.