In re: arctic exploration
Around 1880, the USS Jeannette became trapped in ice near Siberia, and ultimately crushed. The crew abandoned ship and trekked back to Siberia, most of them dying even after they reached land. In any event, wreckage from the Jeannette was found near Greenland in 1884, suggesting to Nansen that a passage to the North Pole could be achived by simply getting stuck in the ice, and letting the drifting movement of the ice carry you further north. What could be simpler? Other explorers disagreed, calling the scheme "an illogical scheme of self-destruction."
In 1893, Nansen made the attempt. They didn't make it to the Pole, but Nansen did make it (on foot) to 86°13.6'N, the Furthest North that had been achieved up to that time, while the ship itself drifted on with most of the crew. The whole story is ridiculous. Any wikipedia page that includes the phrases "On 13 June walruses attacked and damaged the kayaks" and "they passed through a triumphal arch formed by 200 gymnasts", and includes a reference to the Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 is well worth reading.