Cannibalism and calculation: a dark story from the white continent

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tags: cannibalism, Antarctica, Douglas Mawson




Stumbling back to base, emaciated and frostbitten, in February 1913, the celebrated Australian Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson had a terrible story to tell.

One of his team members, Belgrave Ninnis, had fallen to his death down a deep crevasse; the other, Xavier Mertz, had died from starvation and exposure.

Yorkshire-born Mawson, who had struggled on alone for a month through blizzards and thick snow, was lauded for this extraordinary feat of survival. But the real story behind it may have been much darker, according to a new book by an award-wining historian, David Day, who suggests Mawson deliberately starved Mertz to death – and then boiled up his flesh and ate it....




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