In 1913, a Utah newspaper reported that a giant mosquito robot would conquer Antarctica

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

On March 9, 1913, the still-around Salt Lake Tribune published a one Dr. Gustav Luchy's simple plan to traverse the wastes of Antarctica and extract the continent's vast mineral riches.

According to the Tribune, Luchy devised this self-evident method after Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition went tremendously awry. Explained the newspaper of Dr. Luchy's eureka method, which drew inspiration from H.G. Well's War of the Worlds:


Dr. Luchy, who has been collaborator with the Chevalier Pini, the inventor of astonishing machines for exploring the sea bottoms, asserts that if Captain Scott had been equipped with one of his mechanical mosquitoes he could have made his way to the South Pole within a few hours after leaving his base. He also claims that the machines will make impossible any repetition of the Scott tragedy, and will enable man to wrest from the Antarctic continent its mineral treasures without exposing their operators to the slightest danger [...]

Only small working models of the mechanical mosquitoes have as yet been made by the inventor, but these seem to be as practicable as the paper plans promised. A large working model forty feet high when the long, articulated legs are fully expended, is now in course of construction. In the body are the engines which, provide its motive power and the quarters for a crew of ten men.


Should Dr. Luchy's giant mosquito mecha — with its ocean-liner-containing hatch on the bottom — leave you stroking your chin in utter astonishment, know that The Salt Lake Tribune also reported on such forgotten scientific breakthroughs as the giant vegetable eyeball that lives on Mars...

The white spot which we sometimes see on Mars is not a pile of snow, but really an "eye." Supported on a tenuous flexible transparent column, it can raise itself miles above the surface of the planet and watch the operations of its vegetable body at any point.


...and the assertion that Englishmen were possibly transforming into gorillas.

[Zapatopi here and here via Metafilter]