In 2011, Norwegian Christian Eide broke the world speed record for skiing solo to the South Pole. It took him 24 days to cross 730 miles, the last 30 hours of which he skied straight through without sleep. Almost exactly four years later, German mountain climber Martin Szwed blew past Eide’s record, skiing alone to the pole in just 14 days.

But Szwed’s claim began to unravel almost as soon as he issued his statement — his selfie at the pole was revealed to have been photoshopped, and flight logs from Antarctica contradicted his story — but not before he made headlines around the world.

For PRI’s The World (a co-production of the BBC)

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