Where and why have people explored in modern times?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Something there is in man which makes him curious, fortunately. Indeed, it is in the higher orders of life that curiosity exists; for, by being inquisitive, knowledge is attained, and often one's quality of life is improved and/or made more enjoyable and fulfilling. Then, too, there is a tremendous thrill to exploration, even in modern times. For, one can imagine the thrill of discovering a new species, or of finding a rare flower in South America that may hold the key to the cure for some disease.

  • Exploration to Unlock the Past

People have a curiosity about the past and a desire to learn how and why people have moved and adapted to their environments. For example, archaeologists have explored the tombs of the Egyptians to learn more about this ancient, but highly developed society. 

  • Exploration to Discover New Plants and Animals

The discovery of new plants and animals can break codes to diseases and cures, to new knowledge, and to discoveries of new species. Such discoveries often lead to advancements in sciences such as medicine. For instance, the discovery of certain species of sponges and corals, scientists hope, may lead to cures for certain diseases.

  • Exploration to Uncover New Resources

In 1933 Standard Oil geologists arrived in Saudi Arabia. If someone had not preceded them, the discovery of oil in the Middle East would not have occurred. Exploration of the ocean floor, for instance, has led to the locating of fossil fuel. Scientists are constantly seeking new resources for fuel; for instance, the Arctic is being explored for potential fossil fuel. 

  • Exploration to Protect and Better Understand the World

Satellite images are used to track animals and better protect them or recover them; in addition, such images can be used to discover new things in the environment. 

rachellopez | Student

People explore and travel everywhere in the world and the main reason why, in my opinion, is curiosity. There are still so many things to discover and to learn about the past, present, and future. We look for new things that will help us as a species evolve, whether it is a cure for diseases or a new technology. Places we have gone are now even further than our own planet and places we will go are endless. We have gone all over the world and we have gone to space in hopes of finding something new. The world has already grown so much and it will continue to advance.

chrisyhsun | Student

I would say that a primary area of exploration for modern society is the extent of technology. Ever since computers and cell phones became popular, the way in which we perceive of pictures, memories, and overall possibility have been transformed. While abstract, modern society has explored and carved new ground in how people interact with one another through the advent of social networking. We've "explored" in an attempt to fully capture the powers of technology from super-computers/calculators to 3D printers.

As for why we as a people have pushed so hard into the realm of technology, a big part of it is out of curiosity. We are now armed with tools that can fulfill what people in the past have only dreamed about. It's exciting to see each of these "impossible" feats come true and to see just how much we can do.