A nation breaking new ground

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SCOTS have a reputation for exploring and as adventurers. Best known, perhaps, is Dr David Livingstone, who was exploring Africa in the 1860s when his long absence caused concern.

He was eventually found when the New York Herald sent explorer Henry M Stanley to find him. The pair met in a small town on Lake Tanganyika when Stanley uttered the famous words: “Dr Livingstone, I presume.”

Selkirk-born explorer Mungo Park, left, is credited with being the first Westerner to encounter the Niger River. He was navigating the Niger in 1806 when his boat came under attack. To escape the bombardment from natives, he dived into the water and drowned.

Scot William Speirs-Bruce, who studied marine science in Granton, is less well known than Antarctic explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, but his journey to the South Pole is said to have returned a wealth of scientific knowledge.

Meanwhile Francis Cadell of Haddington explored Australia in the 19th century, opening up the Murray River for trade, while Fraserburgh-born Thomas Glover’s adventures in Japan laid the foundations for modern trade and commerce.