The 5 Most Hilariously Inept Explorers of All Time

Not every story of exploration is epic or even successful. The ones we aren't familiar with are quite interesting, but there's a reason we aren't familiar with them -like utter failure. Like the time policeman Robert Burke was sent on a mission to find a route from Victoria, Australia, to the continent's northern coast.

When the expedition set off from Melbourne on August 19, 1860, Burke made sure to load his wagons with everything he figured they would need for a few months in the desert, including a Chinese gong, a heavy wooden table and chair set, 1,500 pounds of sugar, and a stationery cabinet (where else was he going to store his stationery? In his backpack like an asshole?). Equipped more like a traveling circus than an exploring party, the group covered a whopping 4 miles on the first day of their journey, making camp basically within sight of their houses.

In fact, it was two months before they actually reached uncharted territory, which is amusing when you consider that the mailman routinely took the same trip in two weeks, but he didn't have a sweet Chinese gong. The long start meant that they arrived in the desert just as summer was beginning, but Burke didn't let a little thing like daily temperatures of over 100 degrees slow him down, possibly because to travel any slower, he'd have to be going in reverse.

Was Burke's mission successful? No. Was it interesting? Yes, and so are the other four stories of explorers in an article at Cracked. Link


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