The name Antarctic may have been invented by Aristotle since he imagined the earth to be a sphere with a cold North-pole, the Arktos, and an opposite cold South Pole, the Antarktos.However, it lasted until the nineteenth century before Antarctic was truly discovered. As well the British, as the Russians and the Americans claim to have been the first to set foot on the shores of Antarctica. In any event, a map exist which originates from 1531 that shows Antarctica. This map is created by Oronce Finé (1494-1555), a French mathematician, also known with the Latin name Oronteus Finaeus. Strikingly, the map show at a first glance a remarkable resemblance with the true shape of the continent. Some experts are of the opinion that this map depicts the situation of an ice free Antarctica, however because of the many big discrepancies, this viewpoint is not so very convincing. Moreover, the icecap on Antarctica is hundred of thousands years old (and 4 km thick!). But the question remains how Finé could have known how the island looked, or was it that he just gambled and made a drawing in good faith?
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