Delhi, June 14 -- If you thought the last word had been said about the discovery of the Antarctic, think again. A research project led by New Zealand based Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu has highlighted that the Maori people (indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand) and Polynesians journeyed to the icy continent long before others, probably as early as the seventh century.

The findings open wide the competitive claims by Russian, European and American explorers regarding who reached there first. Prior to the Maori connection, it was more or less established that a Russian expedition, led by Fabian von Bellingshausen, was the first to 'discover' the frozen continent on January 27, 1820, with a B...