"Although some outlying icebergs were discovered by Captain Cook, the actual existence of the continent was not definitely known until first seen by James Clark Ross in 1841”. "

There are various different claims for discovery of Antarctica. Captain Cook passed through the Antarctic circle in 1773, Fabian Von Bellinghausen first saw Antarctica in 1820, and American sealer John Davis is thought to have landed in Western Antarctica in 1821, but others give the credit to explorer James Clark Ross who passed through what is now known as the Ross Sea and discovered Ross Island in 1841. He sailed along the wall of ice that was later named the Ross Ice Shelf, and also discovered Mount Erebus and Mount Terror on islands adjoining the Antarctic mainland (both named after two ships from his expedition), in the lee of which Scott situated his first camp. (Source: Wikipedia)