All adventures start—and end—with a story. A good story can inspire us to veer off the beaten path and reach for the unknown. A good story is also the explorer’s reward, an opportunity to share and celebrate risks taken and new ground trodden.
With that in mind, we bring you Horizon Line, a podcast series about the truly intrepid. In each episode, Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras and associate editor Ella Morton will take turns spotlighting a person who pushed the limits of what was believed to be possible.
Our first episode recounts the surreal tale of S. A. Andrée, a Swedish janitor-turned-patent-clerk-turned-aeronaut, who dreamt of ascending to the North Pole in a hot air balloon. His famed 1897 mission invoked both skepticism and wonder: Alfred Nobel personally funded the journey, while polar explorer Adolphus Greely could only say “let him go, and God be with him.”