Three hundred years ago no one knew the true shape of the world. It wasn’t a sphere – but did it bulge at the equator or was it pointed at the poles? Until we found out no map could ever be truly accurate.
So a team of scientists was sent to South America – to measure one full degree of latitude. But South America was a land of erupting volcanoes, sodden rainforests, earthquakes, deadly diseases, tropical storms and violent unrest. And the misfit scientists had an unfortunate tendency to squander funds, fight duels, stumble into mutinies or die horribly.
The tale of their ten-year odyssey of exploration, discovery, flirtations with failure and ultimate triumph is a great scientific adventure story.