Alfred Wegener Facts

Alfred Wegener Facts
Alfred Wegener (November 1, 1880 to November 1930 exact date unknown) was a German meteorologist and polar explorer whose most widely remembered for first developing the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics.
Interesting Alfred Wegener Facts:
Despite the early time frame of his theory (1912), Wegener's idea that the continents sat on plates that were moving around the planet was not even considered until the 1950s.
This notion of movement was ridiculed at first, along with his studies of air movement long before understanding of the jet stream was finalized.
Wegener began his work studying meteorology and physics before finally receiving a doctorate in astronomy in 1905.
He and his brother Kurt pioneered the research that used weather balloons to track air currents, and at one point held the record for the longest continuous balloon flight at 52.5 hours.
The duo also used air balloon flight to test out new navigation methods which helped forward air travel.
Apart from his weather study in the air, Wegener also held great interest in polar studies, specifically of testing ice core samples.
This led him to four different expeditions to the extreme arctic regions, specifically Greenland.
During his first expedition to Greenland to study the last unexplored coastline of the land mass, Wegener established a weather station. It was a brutal excursion, as the expedition leader and two of Wegener's fellow researchers died.
Different expeditions to Greenland for research led to some of the most dangerous and horrifying conditions; one his second expedition, Wegener and the expedition leader were trapped and had to spend the extreme winter inland, and had to resort to eating their own pack animals to survive.
Between these scientific expeditions, Wegener served in research, leadership, and instructional capacities at various schools in Europe, mostly Germany.
In between his authoring of textbooks and his teaching and lecturing on topics in meteorology, he also conducted significant research for his day on tornados and tested the first prototype for the snowmobile.
Despite having presented the concept at a lecture in 1912, Wegener published his extensive theories on continental drift in 1926 after presenting them to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in New York.
Wegener embarked on a fourth research expedition to Greenland in 1930 with the goal of establishing permanent outposts to conduct year-round studies of the ice sheet.
After many extreme obstacles and emergency situations, he lost his toes to frostbite earlier in the trip, and he and his partner had resorted to eating their sled dogs.
He finally died during the trek between two far outposts.
Wegener was buried in the snow during their trek by his partner on the expedition, Rasmus Villumsen, after the other thirteen members had turned back. A later expedition discovered Wegener's body and that of Villumsen and buried both of them properly where they'd been found.


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