Carl Anton Larsen

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Carl Anton Larsen (1904)

Carl Anton Larsen (born August 7, 1860 in Østre Halsen , Norway ; † December 8, 1924 in the Ross Sea , Antarctica ) was a Norwegian whaler and Antarctic explorer. In 1904 he founded the place Grytviken on South Georgia .


Participants in the Swedish Antarctic Expedition in October 1901 on board the Antarctic (from left to right): Carl Skottsberg , Otto Nordenskjöld, Karl Andersson, Carl Anton Larsen, Erik Ekelöf, Axel Ohlin , Gösta Bodman.
Grytviken photographed from Shackleton's expedition (1914)

After attending school, he went to sea at the age of 14 and in 1895 was the captain of a whaler . As captain of the Jason he led an expedition to the Antarctic from 1892 to 1894 , which was financed by the Hamburg company Woltereck & Robertson. On this expedition he discovered Robertson Island and the Seal Islands, among others . Fossils of higher plants brought from the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula prove that Antarctica used to have a warmer climate.

Later he was the captain of the Antarctic , with which the Swedish Antarctic Expedition under Otto Nordenskjöld reached the Antarctic from 1901 to 1903. The ship was crushed by the ice in the Weddell Sea and sank. The team had to spend the winter on Paulet Island under the most difficult conditions.

In 1904, Carl Anton Larsen founded the first Antarctic whaling company Compañía Argentina de Pesca SA (German: Argentinische Fischereigesellschaft-AG) in Buenos Aires with Argentine, Norwegian and British capital, which operated from Grytviken on South Georgia.

At his instigation, a Norwegian Lutheran chapel was built in Grytviken in 1913 .

In 1923 he deployed the first whaling factory ship , the Sir James Clark Ross , in Antarctica. Up until a change in the law around 1931, numerous foreigners worked for the company, including the German captain Otto Kraul .

Located on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula located Larsen Ice Shelf was named after him, as is the Larsen Glacier and Mount Larsen in East Antarctic Victoria Land , Mount Larsen on Thule Island in the archipelago of the South Sandwich Islands and the Larsen channel , which Larsen Inlet and Larsen Island . Even the Larsen Point , a headland on the north coast of South Georgia, bears his name. The German doctor and explorer Ludwig Kohl-Larsen (1884–1969) was Carl Anton Larsen's son-in-law.


  • Ian B. Hart: Pesca: the history of Compañía Argentina de Pesca Sociedad Anónima of Buenos Aires: an account of the pioneer modern whaling and sealing company in the Antarctic , Aidan Ellis, 2001, ISBN 978-0-85628-299-7 .

Web links

Commons : Carl Anton Larsen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. see also Compañía Argentina de Pesca in the Spanish language Wikipedia
  2. Grytviken Church (Whalers Church) . Wondermondo. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  3. Reinhard A. Krause, Ursula Rack (ed.): Journal, kept on board the steamship GROENLAND, Captain Ed. Dallmann, on the journey from Hamburg to d. Whale and Seal fishing on the coasts of South Shetland Islds. Coronation Isld. Trinity Land & Palmerland, run by Rud. Küper, Hamburg (PDF; 5.1 MB), Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven 2006, p. XXIV, accessed on January 9, 2012