nansen google doodle
The Google Doodle honoring Fridtjof Nansen showed him cross-country skiing. Google

Tuesday’s Google Doodle was a black and white illustration honoring Norwegian adventurer Fridtjof Nansen’s 156th birthday. Nansen was known for exploring the world’s “unknown terrain” and breaking “new ground as an international humanitarian, according to Google’s description of the doodle.

Not only was he an explorer and a researcher, but he was also a Nobel Peace Prize winner for the work he did to help settle refugees. The doodle features a play button that when pressed shows Nansen cross country skiing, a means of transportation he used for his exploration and travels. Additionally the doodle shows the Nansen passport he created opening and closing and the stick figures inside walking off of the page.

Nansen was able to cross-country ski up to 50 miles a day, a skill he used to explore Greenland. He was the first person to lead an expedition across the interior part of the country. After that mission he then embarked on one to become the first person to the North Pole although he didn’t end up making it, he did get further north than any other explorer had at the time in history, according to Google.

Besides exploring the world Nansen also worked to better it. He served as the minister to Great Britain for Sweden for three years in the early 1900s and when WWI broke out eventually invested himself into politics. In 1917 he led the Norwegian delegation in Washington, D.C. which led him to a position as a delegate to the League from Norway, according to Nobel Prize records. While in that position he worked to repatriate 450,000 prisoners of war in just 18 months before becoming the administrator of the High Commission for Refugees in 1921. It was then that he created the Nansen Passport for stateless refugees. It was a document that 52 governments came to recognize as a substitute for a passport. Artist Marc Chagall and musician Igor Stravinsky were just two of the hundreds of thousands of recipients of the Nansen Passport, according to Nobel Prize records.

The doodle is meant to honor Nansen and his accomplishments in every field he worked in on his birthday. Most doodles commemorate a birthday of someone worth honoring, an event or anniversary of one, or celebrate holidays. The first doodle was made in the 90s and by the early 2000s it had become part of Google on a regular basis.

Each year Google holds a Doodle 4 Google competition in which students across the country can submit doodles focused on a specific theme for consideration and the winners end up with prizes.