Antarctic landmarks to be named after courageous snow dogs

By AG Staff 2 August 2017
Reading Time: < 1 Print this page
These brave pooches deserve it.

A SET OF landmarks across the Antarctic are set to be named in honour of a group of snow huskies that accompanied famous Australian adventurer, Sir Douglas Mawson on his early exploration of the icy continent.

The 26 Islands, rocks and reefs confirmed to be named after the dogs is in recognition of the important role they played throughout these often challenging expeditions

“The dogs were used for expedition transport, pulling sleds laden with supplies, as well as providing companionship for the men,” said Gillian Slocum, the Australian Antarctic Division Place Names Committee Chairperson, who made the announcement today

“While some of the dogs returned to Australia, others sadly perished in the harsh conditions,” she added.

Many of the dogs names have made for rather quirky titled landmarks. 

“Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen gifted Mawson a husky named Lassesen, in honour of the dog that was with him when he reached the South Pole in 1911. Lassesen Island in the Mackellar Islands is named after Mawson’s dog.

“Pavlova Island, Ginger Reef and Devil Rock were all four-legged members of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Pavlova was named after the famed Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, who was a friend of Belgrave Ninnis who cared for the dogs during the expedition.

“Ninnis later died during the ill-fated Far Eastern Party sledging journey, when he and six of the party’s best dogs, as well as most of the supplies, fell through a crevasse,” Gillian explained.

Other dogs set to be honoured include Basilisk, Gadget, Sweep, Grandmother and Blizzard. 

A full set of place names and their coordinates can be found at the Australian Antarctic Data Centre.