The first woman to circumnavigate the globe, Jeanne Baret (1766 - 1769) disguised herself as a man in order to travel with her colleague and lover Philibert de Commerson on a botany expedition around the world.
Courtesy: Plantas en Viaje
Famed botanist and painter Marianne North (1830 - 1890) leveraged her privileged upbringing to eschew marriage and travel around the globe and plant the foreign flora and fauna she observed instead.
In 1892, Isabella Bird Bishop (1831 - 1904) became the first woman inducted into the Royal Geographical Society for her horseback -- and sidesaddle -- exploration of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Islands, both of which she wrote about in popular books of the time.
During the mid-19th century, Dutch explorer Alexandrine Tinne (1835 - 1869) was dedicated to mapping portions of the the Nile River and its tributaries until she was murdered in 1869 by nomadic tribesman in the Libyan desert.
One of the founders of London's Royal Society in London, Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862 - 1900) traveled extensively around western Africa, studying indigenous tribes, collecting specimens and traversing all sorts of treacherous terrain in hefty women's Victorian garb.
There are few things, it seems, Gertrude Bell (1868 - 1926) didn't do: climbed the Alps, explored the Middle East, drew the borders of modern-day Iraq and served as an archaeologist.
Born in France in 1868, Alexandra David-Neel (1868 - 1969) turned to travel after her singing career failed, and she's best known for her 1924 trek to Tibet.
Courtesy: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons
Raised in rugged California, Harriet Chalmers Adams (1875 - 1937) was one of the foremost explorers of her day, focusing on South America, writing for National Geographic and becoming the first female member of the Royal Geographic Society of London.
Swiss explorer Isabelle Eberhardt (1877 - 1904) relocated to North Africa where she immersed herself in the culture, learning Arabic, converting to Islam, exploring the desert, and keeping a diary of her sometimes harrowing adventures that eventually took her life.
Courtesy: California Academy of the Sciences
In her later life, Ynes Enriquetta Julietta Mexia (1870 - 1938) became an ardent botanist and set out on a series of expeditions that eventually yielded more than 150,000 types of plants, including more than 500 new species, many of which were named in her honor.
Courtesy: Flippist Archives
British Olive Murray Chapman (1892 - 1977) was a well-known traveler and writer of her day, publishing books about her arduous journeys across Iceland, Lapland, Cyprus and Madagascar.
Courtesy: Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition
Nicknamed Antarctica's First Lady, Edith Ronne (1919 - 2009) made history as the first American woman to set foot on the icy continent in 1947 and also was one of the first two women to overwinter there as well.
Ichthyologist "Shark Lady" Eugenie Clark (1922 - ) spent her career underwater, intensively studying sharks and poisonous fish.
Aptly known as Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle (1935 - ) is a trailblazing aquanaut who, in 1986, tied the world record for the deepest solo dive, and has become a world-renown expert on oceanography, marine biology and aquatic conversation.
Courtesy: Power of One Woman
Named one of the most important explorers of the 20th century by National Geographic, Helen Thayer (1937 - ) became the first woman to travel alone to the magnetic North Pole in 1988 and has also trekked 1,500 miles through Death Valley -- all after age 50.