This Polar Explorer Died On A Solo Expedition – And He Left Behind A Series Of Haunting Selfies

It is day 70, and explorer Henry Worsley has managed to walk 913 miles across the ice-capped interior of the Antarctic continent. But he has not yet concluded his punishing journey, and though the finishing line is within striking distance, Worsley is gravely incapacitated. Beaten, broken and on the verge on death, he lies immobile inside his tent.

At the age of 55, the husband and father of two could have settled for a quiet life with his family in London, but he had adventure in his blood. And as a former special forces officer, he was no stranger to dangerous environments. But more than this, Worsley had a calling. Since he was a child, in fact, he had nurtured a fixation with the so-called Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Spanning the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration was an era characterized by its reliance on human willpower. Since transportation and communication technologies were relatively primitive, explorers were forced to stretch themselves to the very limits of physical and psychological endurance. Naturally, many died trying to “conquer” the polar regions.

Even so, the early Antarctic explorers did not rely solely on human fortitude – they employed teams of porters, pack animals and sled dogs. By contrast, Worsley was attempting to cross the continent entirely alone and unaided. He had no huskies, food caches, kites, crew or mechanical assistance, though he did have a satellite phone, in case of emergency.

Incredibly, no one in history had ever attempted the journey that Worsley was about to make – he was in every sense a true pioneer. But as he lay sick and exhausted inside his tent on day 70, he must have wondered if the task was even possible.