Landmarks named after Antarctic huskies

Ethan James
Landmarks have been named after huskies which served alongside explorer Sir Douglas Mawson.

Huskies who guided explorer Sir Douglas Mawson through Antarctica more than a century ago have been immortalised on the icy continent.

Islands, rocks and reefs now bear the names of 26 dogs which helped Mawson and other explorers survive a four-year expedition.

The Australian Antarctic Division Place Names Committee made the announcement on Wednesday, with chair Gillian Slocum saying it was a fitting tribute.

"The dogs were used for expedition transport, pulling sleds laden with supplies, as well as providing companionship for the men," she said.

"While some of the dogs returned to Australia, others sadly perished in the harsh conditions."

About 50 huskies served alongside Mawson during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914.

Six of his best dogs died when fellow explorer Belgrave Ninnis fell down a crevasse with supplies some 500km away from their main base.

Grimly, Mawson was forced to use his dogs as food in order to survive.

"He didn't intend to eat his dogs but had no choice," said Rod Ledingham, an expeditioner during the 1960s.

The landmark names will be used internationally and help rescuers and researchers find their way.


* Grandmother Rock - After a male dog named for his grandmotherly appearance.

* Blizzard Island - A pup born during the expedition and named after the frequent weather at Cape Denison

* Pavlova Island - Named by explorer Belgrave Ninnis after famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who was interested in the expedition.

* The Devil Rock - Dubbed The Devil for her savage disposition.

* Lassesen Island - In honour of a husky given to Mawson by explorer Roald Amundsen after his namesake died on the return journey from the South Pole.