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Nikolay Przhevalsky
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    (April 12, 1839-November 1, 1888)
    Born in Kimborovo, Russian Federation
    Also known as Nikolai Przewalski
    Born to a Polonized Belarusian noble family
    Namesake of Przewalski's horse (the only species of wild horse that has never been domesticated), Przewalski's gazelle, a plant genus, and the scientific names of five lizard species
    Taught geography at the military school in Warsaw (1864-1866)
    Explored the Ussuri River Basin (1867-1869), Beijing through the Gobi Desert and the upper Yangtze River (November 1870-September 1873), Qinghai Lake through the Tian Shan Mountains and East Turkestan (modern-day Xinjiang) (1876-1877), Tibet through the Qaidam Basin (1879-1880), and the Alashan Mountains, Eastern Tian Shan, Hotan, and Issyk Kul (1883-1885)
    Wrote 'Travels in the Ussuri Region' (1867-1869), 'Mongolia, the Tangut Country, and the Solitudes of Northern Tibet' (1875), and 'From Kulja, Across the Tian Shan to Lob-Nor' (1879)
    Awarded Founder's Gold Medal (1879) and Vega Medal (1888)
    Died of typhus at Karakol, Kyrgyzstan
    He insulted Asians and their culture, even claiming that they preferred Russian rule over their own local rulers.
    He urged the Russian government to incite revolts in China in order to create a pretext to annex Chinese territory.
    Like many fellow explorers of his time, he participated in the Great Game, a competition between Britain and Russia to acquire new territories between each other's existing ones.
    There are reports saying that he killed Tibetan nomads.
    There's an urban legend saying that Joseph Stalin was his illegitimate child because both men resemble each other despite no records of Przhevalsky's presence in Georgia.
    There are claims that his male lovers who work as his assistants include a 16-year-old boy.
    He claimed to have discovered the saltwater lake Lop Nur, but it had already dried up.
    He traveled to regions previously unknown to Europeans at that time, expanding their knowledge of them, especially Central Asia.
    He kept proof of his expeditions by keeping detailed accounts and collecting rock, plant, and animal samples, allowing scientists to learn more about the places he visited.
    The successes of his expeditions were attributed to fast-moving small parties and his own resourcefulness in the midst of hostile climates, terrain, and natives.
    He was said to be the first European since Marco Polo to visit Qinghai Lake.
    His girlfriend, Tasya Nuromskaya, died while he was on an expedition despite their reminder to marry someday in the form of a braid she cut from her hair and gave to him.
    He died right before he could start his expedition to Lhasa, where had always wanted to go to.
    For a time, Karakol was renamed Przhevalsk in his honor. (1888-1921, 1939-1991)

Credit: Big Lenny

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