It was not until the end of the eighteenth century that European expeditions began skirting Antarctica, and not until around 1820 that the mainland was officially sighted. The nephew of the Scottish arctic explorer Sir John Ross, James Clark Ross, was amongst the first to identify the approximate location of the South Pole in 1841. That same year Sir John Murray was born in Canada to a family of Scottish migrants, later becoming a key advocate of Antarctic exploration.
Whilst the famous Dundee-built Discovery was undertaking her expedition (1901-1904), William Speirs Bruce undertook the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition aboard the Scotia. Despite the success of the expedition it was largely overshadowed by the Discovery. On his return, Bruce established the Scottish Oceanographic Laboratory in Edinburgh to house the results of his work and from which to plan future expeditions, although it was forced to close in 1919. The Discovery II, built in Port Glasgow in 1928-9, continued the legacy of these early Antarctic explorers.
Today many places around Antarctica bear Scottish names, including the Scotia Sea, the South Orkney Islands, and Inverleith Harbour.