It seems likely that either the North or South Pole once held an entrance to the world where Teleleli lies.
My suspicions were first aroused by reading of the secret world or city of Agartha, which is said to reside at the Earth's core and be accessible by entrances in both poles. It is described by some sources as being a place of great wealth and knowledge. Others describe a complex of dismal caves inhabited by evil demons. This contradiction might be explained as originating with the accounts of two or more travelers who had made their way to different parts of the same world.
The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World, published in 1668 by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, describes a world, filled with talking animals, that is likewise entered via the North Pole.
It seems to me that some groups of the 19th and early 20th centuries, perhaps even in various governments, may have believed that this portal still existed. This could explain the otherwise disproportionate efforts expended in attempting to reach the North Pole. Indeed United States President John Quincy Adams gave his approval for an official expedition to the North Pole for the purpose of entering the supposed hollow Earth, but left office before it could be organised.
Perhaps when it was discovered that no portal existed at the North Pole, they concluded that it could be found at the South Pole, and put their efforts there only to be disappointed again. Of course this assumes that they were in fact disappointed. I note the desperate efforts of various governments, extending even to the present day, to extend their claims over Antarctica. Obviously there are more prosaic explanations for this phenomenon, for example that they are motivated by the large number of frozen cavemen there that could be thawed out to form an army.