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10 Amazing Explorers You've Never Heard Of

By Becky Ferreira Apr 24, 2013

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Tom Crean

Crean, pictured here with a pile of puppies (if only every portrait included puppies!), was nicknamed "the Irish giant" because he was enormous both in stature and in courage. Crean was fascinated by the Antarctic and sailed away with Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Endurance team to see the South Pole. Endurance was a very appropriately named boat, as the trip took years and ended with the vessel getting crushed in Antarctic Ice and sent to nautical heaven, leaving the crew stranded. Shackleton depended heavily on Crean's cheerfulness and resilience over the coming months, as they made an amazing transit back to safety, traveling over 800 miles over freezing water in a rickety lifeboat. Crean saved many of lives during the ordeal, including the lives of the painfully cute sled dog puppies.

Tags: history, science, slideshows, life, people, explorers, earth week

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