A podcast of fascinating facts! What do extraterrestrial radio signals and a mushroom from Texas have in common? What is a “number station“ and why is it so spine-tinglingly creepy? Join comedians Shane Rogers and Duncan MacEwan for an entertaining and hilarious deep-dive into obscure facts from science, history and pop culture. A new topic each week!

November 4, 2021

Death, Misery, Folly, and Ponies: The Chilling History of Polar Exploration

Who was the first explorer to reach the North Pole? How about the South? It turns out that at least one of those answers is complicated, and although the controversy may never be laid to rest, plenty of would-be arctic conquerors were themselves laid to rest during the golden age of polar exploration. Join MFFI for the fascinating, brutal, bloody, pony-packed tale of the race for polar glory. 


Join the MFFI community and vote on episode topics via DISCORD


In this episode:  

  • The "Top" of the World
  • Map Makers, Eurocentrism, and the West Wing
  • Polar Facts
  • 90 Degrees Latitude
  • The Polar Day, the Tilt of the Earth, and Polar Seasons
  • Alert, Canada
  • Nautical Twilight
  • Thomas Nast and Santa Claus
  • Russia Claims the Pole
  • The Northwest Passage
  • Prices of Spices
  • Robert McClure and the HMS Investigator 
  • The Magnetic North Pole VS the True North Pole
  • The Lost Franklin Expedition of 1845
  • The Arsenic-Poisoning of Charles Francis Hall
  • The Crushing of George W Delong
  • The Crashing of Salomon August Andree
  • The Race Between Robert Peary and Frederick A Cook
  • The Contributions of Matthew Henson
  • Polar Bear Liver
  • The Race for the South Pole 
  • Roald Amundsum
  • Fridtjof Nansen and the Fram
  • The Night of the Ponies
  • Amundson Takes the Pole
  • Amundson Takes Another Pole
  • The Death of Amundson


Join the Midnight Masses!

Become an Insomniac by dropping a review, adding us on social media, and contacting us with episode ideas. 

And we now have Midnight Merch! Show your Insomniac pride and pick up a tee shirt or coffee mug to spread the word! 

Midnight Merch


Leave an Audio Message!



Podcast Website


Episode Transcript






More episodes

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App