When I say humble I mean he was at the bottom of the professional chain. After getting his bachelor's degree in 1906 he went to New York and began to clean the floors of the taxidermy department in the American Museum of Natural History when he found there were no other jobs open. While he did this he worked on getting his Masters of Arts in mammalogy from Columbia in 1913 then “he received honorary doctorates from Brown University in 1926 and Beloit College in 1928.” If receiving honorary doctorates was not enough, in the museum where he had started by mopping the floors, from 1935 to 1942 he was the director of it. At the end of this position he devoted the rest of his life to writing and lecturing.
You must be thinking “this guy just sounds lucky and nothing like Indiana Jones,” but that is where you would be wrong. He was lucky, but, as I stated earlier, he was like Indy and more. For starters he traveled the world collecting zoological specimens for the museum. Even though his title was “naturalist,” he made a few notable discoveries in the school of paleontology; of then being the one to find the first known dinosaur eggs, a skull and other parts of the largest known land mammal (Indricotherium), and even finding evidence of prehistoric human life. A lot of his exploits took place in the Gobi desert.
If all that does not convince you he was inspiration for Indiana Jones, I will leave you with this. He wrote, “In the [first] fifteen years [of field work] I can remember just ten times when I had really narrow escapes from death. Two were from drowning in typhoons, one was when our boat was charged by a wounded whale; once my wife and I were nearly eaten by wild dogs, once we were in great danger from fanatical lama priests; two were close calls when I fell over cliffs, once I was nearly caught by a huge python, and twice I might have been killed by bandits.” He also recalled a night when he and his men killed 47 vipers in their tents. Also, Andrews was not exempt to accidents. He shot himself in the leg on one occasion but sees himself as lucky that it missed his knee because if it had not he would have a “stiff leg for the rest of my life.” He also always wore a ranger hat (it was his fedora), and always had a revolver with him (image below). With everything he had been through, the revolver is understandable.
I hope you have enjoyed this exciting recounting of the life of one the greatest explorers to ever live. Moreover, I hope you enjoyed this Friday's fun fact! If you have an itching to get to the bottom of a small fact that has been festering in your mind, or if you have a blog topic you would like me to cover, or if you would just like to express your thoughts on this first Fun Fact Friday, please feel free to comment below.