Early Europeans may have believed the world was flat, but by the Middle Ages there was widespread acceptance that it was, in fact, a globe. What remained a mystery, however, was what lay on the "other side". The belief in a vast southern continent went back centuries, and many expeditions set out to find it, sometimes in search of wealth, sometimes to convert its inhabitants to Christianity. This is the story of the voyages into this great unknown, by the Chinese and early Americans, the Dutch, Spanish, French and English; it recounts the exploits of pirates and scientists, and what lead to the debunking of many myths, from the sunken Great Southern Continent, to the idea that in the "antipodes", people walked upside down.
John Dunmore, CNZM, Officier de la Legion d'honneur, Ordre des Palmes academiques, DLitt, PhD, is a much-published author and world authority on Pacific exploration, recognised for his service by the governments of both New Zealand and France. He has published over 30 books, and was responsible for finding and translating the journals of La Perouse which had been lost in the French National Archives for over 200 years.