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Adam Shoalts, Modern Explorer, Discovers Huge Unmapped Waterfall

08/06/2013 05:54 EDT | Updated 08/22/2013 05:10 EDT
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TORONTO, ON - JULY 30: Adam Shoalts, a McMaster's University PhD candidate, is a modern day explorer. He is re-visiting a remote area near James Bay where he stumbled upon an uncharted waterfall last summer, the hard way. Both he and his canoe went over the falls. (Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Adam Shoalt's expeditions through the Canadian wilderness are long, difficult and sometimes lonely -- he occasionally travels alone -- but the possibility of stumbling upon uncharted landmarks is what keeps him going.

“If you get really lucky, you might even discover a new topographical discovery, like a waterfall, and change the map. That for me is the motivation", the 27-year-old explorer told the Toronto Star.

Lucky for Shoalts, that is exactly what happened.

On a solo canoe trip in August 2012 along the Again River, which flows into James Bay near the border between Quebec and Ontario, he accidentally tumbled down a 40-foot waterfall, according to the Daily Telegraph. He wasn't injured and was able to repair his canoe. Best of all, he realized he'd fallen down an uncharted waterfall, thought to be the largest discovered in Canada in 100 years, The Guardian reports.

Shoalts discovered several other small waterfalls during his trip, but it's the big one he plans to name after himself.

No one has ever travelled the entire length of the Again River, according to experts.

Shoalts is currently retracing his 400-kilometre path in order to properly map the waterfalls, with funding from the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Shoalts told The Guardian he thinks the rivers he explored have been avoided because of how difficult it is to reach them. A canoeist died in 2006 paddling one of the waterways Shoalts had to cross to reach the Again.

Even though Shoalt's exploits put most of us to shame, he told The Guardian he's not yet satisfied with his efforts to discover and plot unknown treasures in our country's wilderness.

"Canada's so vast. Even if I do this the rest of my life, all my work would still only be a drop in the bucket. We don't know the world nearly as well as we think we do."

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