Portugal issued in 2021 two stamps and a Miniature Sheet for the Discovery of the Antarctic, the stamps shows Fabian Bellingshausen and the ship VOSTOK viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7547&p=21211#p21211
The MS shows us an iceberg in the Antarctic with birds and seals.
Hypothesized by Aristotle (384-322 BC), the discovery of Terra Australis Incognita was first mooted by Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), when his ships made the maiden voyage between the Atlantic and the Pacific in 1520. In his judgment, the so-called Tierra del Fuego, the southern limit of the Strait of Magellan, with its forests and snow-capped mountains, was proof of its existence. Dubbed Terra Australis recenter inventa sed nondum plene cognita (the southern land newly discovered but not yet fully known), the outlines of this presumed new continent henceforth became a permanent feature on maps, updated whenever new lands and islands were found, as if in anticipation of the imminent discovery that had long been foreseen.
However, it would take three more centuries for the expedition led by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (1778-1852) to first sight the shores of Antarctica on 28 January 1820, his name having been given to the adjacent sea through which he sailed. Meanwhile, the search for the mythical Terra Incognita continued, particularly in the South Pacific, by means of Spanish, French, Russian, and, above all, English expeditions, which had a mixture of political, commercial, and scientific objectives. Given the vastness of the sea being explored and, initially, the rather poor accuracy of the navigational methods and instruments, many islands and places were "discovered" several times and were therefore given different names, which were recorded on the maps. During these three centuries, Australia was also discovered, and it continued to be associated with the purported continental mass of Aristotelian inception for some time afterwards. According to popular belief at the time, Terra Australis was the southern boundary to all the seas in the world, and this mythical designation was behind the name ultimately given to the territory.
Due to its extreme climate, Antarctica is the only continent with no native human population. Occupation only began in the 19th century, albeit intermittently, when whaling ships started to visit its waters for commercial purposes.
It was also around this time that James Weddell (1787-1834) and James Clark Ross (1800-1862) led expeditions that surveyed part of the coasts of Antarctica, which only then began to appear with some degree of accuracy on maps. However, it was James Cook (1728-1779) who was the first to circumnavigate the new continent, between 1772 and 1775, though he never actually sighted it, despite having even crossed the Antarctic Circle.
Given the difficulties posed by the terrain and extreme climate, surveying the Antarctic coast was both a laborious and perilous process that took more than a century to complete. Only the advent of engine-powered ships, combined with the development of new scientific instruments and methods, would finally accelerate the endeavour.
In geographical terms, Antarctica is almost entirely contained within the Antarctic Circle, only fleetingly traversing it, and is an important biodiversity reserve, home to countless unique species. Since the ice is retreating as a result of global warming, aggravated by increasing human presence and activity in these regions, a substantial number of Antarctic species are now severely endangered.
Portugal 2021 0.54/0.84 Euro and 2.50 Euro MS sg?, Scott?
The full index of our ship stamp archive
1 post • Page 1 of 1