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John Davis (sealer)

John Davis
Born John Davis
Surrey, England
Nationality Anglo-American
Occupation Seal hunter
Known for Debated as the first man on Antarctica
Home town Connecticut, USA

Captain John Davis (born in 1784 in Surrey, England) was a seal hunter from Connecticut, USA[1] who captained men who may have been the first to have set foot on Antarctica on 7 February 1821 shortly after the first sightings of the new continent by Fabian von Bellingshausen, Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev, Edward Bransfield and Nathaniel Palmer.


  • Antarctic claim 1
  • Legacy 2
  • See also 3
  • Footnotes 4

Antarctic claim

Some of Davis' crew from the American sealing ship, Cecilia, may have landed at Hughes Bay (64°01'S) looking for seals for less than an hour. The ships logbook entry reads:

[2][3] These men were the first recorded humans to have claimed to have set foot on the newly discovered continent of Antarctica.[4][5]

The first undisputed landing on Antarctica did not occur for another 74 years, on 24 January 1895, when a group of men from the Norwegian ship Antarctic went ashore to collect geological specimens at Cape Adare. The group included the Norwegians Henrik Johan Bull and Carsten Borchgrevink, and the New Zealander Alexander von Tunzelmann.


The coastal strip where the men were alleged to have gone ashore is called Davis Coast.

See also


  1. ^ "The first landing on the mainland of Antarctica". Australian Antarctic Data Centre. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  2. ^ "Unconfirmed Landing". Thinkquest. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  3. ^ "The Voyage of the Huron and The Huntress", Edourd A. Stackpole, 1955
  4. ^ "Introduction". Antarcticaonline. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  5. ^ "One small step for man...". 70south. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
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