The Strange Voyage of the HMS Challenger

On December 21, 1872, the HMS Challenger left Portsmouth, England with ~240 people. Four years later it returned, completing one of the greatest ocean expeditions of all time. What was the strange voyage of the HMS Challenger?

The Strange Voyage of the HMS Challenger?

The HMS Challenger discovered over 4,000 ocean creatures, many of which were in parts of the ocean thought to be unlivable. It located mountains, found the Marinara Trench, and laid the groundwork for the science of oceanography.

Oh, and it drove its crew batty.

Only 144 people returned…the rest succumbed to insanity, sickness, or just plain ran for the hills when the HMS Challenger pulled into one of its many ports. Here’s more on the strange HMS Challenger Expedition from io9:

…In the early 1800s, the ocean was something to fish in and to get across. What happened below 1500 feet was of no concern to anyone, although scientists calculated that the pressure, the temperature, and the lack of sunlight meant that no life existed below…

In 1872, the HMS Challenger was sent out to circumnavigate the globe, with a crew of around 240 sailors and scientists. When it got back in 1876, it had 144 people aboard, losing people to madness, death, sickness, and sheer desperation to escape the voyage. It also held a wealth of information that launched a new era of exploration, and a new field of science…

(See io9 for more on the HMS Challenger expedition)

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