Antarctica: Tales, Travels & News

ramonmercado

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Looking forward to this. Next, The Mountains of Madneess?

Scot shoots first fictional feature in Antarctica
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-h ... s-19980602
By Steven McKenzie
BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

A still from South of Sanity

Related Stories
In pictures: Antarctica horror

A fictional feature film has been shot in Antarctica for the first time.

Scottish climbing instructor and documentary-maker Kirk Watson filmed South of Sanity while working for British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Shot entirely in the Antarctic, the horror movie's cast and crew were made up of fellow BAS contractors and staff.

Matt Edwards, a doctor who lives near London, wrote the script for the feature which is now being marketed by a US film-maker.

Rated 18 by the British Board of Film Classification, the movie follows 14 staff at an Antarctic station as they are stalked by a killer.

Aviemore-based Mr Watson, who is originally from Torphins in Aberdeenshire, has six years' experience working in Antarctica. His tasks include leading scientists across glaciers and training them in climbing techniques.


Biologists, geologists and mechanics made up the cast and crew
In winter, when the continent is locked in darkness and freezing conditions, staff learn skills such as woodwork and black and white photography to help while away their free time.

Mr Watson decided to hone his film-making by shooting a low budget fictional feature with help from other British staff, which included marine biologists, geologists and mechanics.

He said: "We filmed a couple of day scenes on a weekend and the rest was shot in the dark just to make the film darker.

"So our actors suffered a bit in the cold as we had people sitting outside for ages, or playing dead people lying in the snow. It became a bit tricky with the 'dead people' as they shivered, so they were carefully edited to get rid of the movement."

Mr Watson added: "We had several actors with mild hypothermia during the filming. The good thing was they had lived there for a year, so were pretty used to it."

As well as writing the script, Mr Edwards was the film's make-up artist using a children's face painting set.

For fake blood, he came up with a recipe using food colouring, white flour and syrup.

The film will get its premiere in Aviemore on 31 October.
 

ramonmercado

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A White Wedding.

A couple have made history by becoming the first to tie the knot in the British Antarctic Territory.

Polar field guides Julie Baum and Tom Sylvester said their vows at the Rothera Research Station, which is almost 2,000 miles from the Falkland Islands, at the weekend.

The happy couple celebrated with 20 fellow 'overwinterers' - the nickname used for those who spend winter in Antarctica - while temperatures were well below freezing.

The pair, who have been together for 11 years, are both experienced mountaineers working as mountain instructors and expedition leaders. ...

http://news.sky.com/story/couple-be...after-law-change-10951551?dcmp=snt-sf-twitter
 

rynner2

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I recently watched this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08tj2zr/horizon-2017-antarctica-ice-station-rescue

Horizon

Britain's state-of-the-art Antarctic research base Halley VI is in trouble. Built on the Brunt Ice Shelf, it sits atop a massive slab of ice that extends far beyond the Antarctic shoreline. But the ice is breaking apart and just 6km from the station is a ginormous crevasse, which threatens to separate Halley from the rest of the continent, setting the £28 million base adrift on a massive iceberg.

So Halley needs to move. But this is probably the toughest moving job on earth, and the team of 90 who have been tasked with the mission aren't just architectural or engineering experts. They are plumbers, mechanics and farmers from across the UK and beyond - ordinary men and women on an extraordinary adventure. Their practical skills will be what makes or breaks this move. The rescue mission has one thing in its favour: Halley was built on giant skis that mean it can be moved - in theory. But no-one has actually done it before. Embedded with the team, BBC film-maker Natalie Hewit spent three months living on the ice, following these everyday heroes as they battle in the most extreme environment on earth to move this vital polar research station.

First shown: 9pm 7 Jun 2017

They referred to over-winterers, but that year the whole station was abandoned for the winter because of further threats from crevasses.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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I'd never heard of this one before...

The Mystery Of The South Pole’s Only Murder

During the 24 hours that Rodney Marks's life was slipping away from him, he had plenty of time to contemplate his predicament. He knew he was trapped, cut off from adequate medical attention, about as far from civilization as one can get on this planet. He knew that during the long, dark winters at the South Pole – where for eight months of the year it's too cold to land a plane – small problems become big ones very fast.

It was already Marks's second visit to the makeshift hospital that day, and he arrived scared, anxious, and wearing sunglasses to protect his unbearably sensitive eyes. There was no one medical condition that the base physician, Dr. Robert Thompson, could think of that would explain what was happening to Marks.


http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/a-mysterious-death-at-the-south-pole-20131125
 

EnolaGaia

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Sounds like an accident, rather than murder.

Agreed ... The article never mentions that methanol poisoning can result from cumulative inhalation or skin absorption as well as direct ingestion.
 

ramonmercado

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Expensive holidays.

ON A GOOD day in Antarctica, the wind will quiet, the sun will shine, and the temperature will reach a balmy 23 degrees... Fahrenheit. Okay, so it's not Tahiti. "But it feels really pleasant,” says Patrick Woodhead. He would know. As the CEO and co-founder of White Desert, Antarctica’s premiere travel experience, it's his job to ensure that your stay on the notoriously inhospitable continent is as enjoyable as conditions allow.

Which, as it turns out, is still pretty damn enjoyable. White Desert is Antarctica's first and only luxury resort. Woodhead started the operation 10 years ago, on the heels a four-month skiing expedition to the South Pole. He found the unforgiving landscape breathtaking, and figured others—even those disinclined to spend months actively combatting the elements—might, too. “We realized that no one was doing tourism in the Antarctic with any sense of luxury,” he says. “It was all really grueling, tough trips.” White Desert’s camp is neither grueling nor tough. In fact, it's royalty-level cushy. “We’ve hosted Saudi princesses who have never seen snow before,” Woodhead says.

The upshot is that a stay at White Desert will cost you. Eight nights in one of its newly designed “sleeping pods” runs a minimum of $45,000. (For an extra 25 grand, you can visit the South Pole.)

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/weeks...nd=wired&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Expensive holidays.

ON A GOOD day in Antarctica, the wind will quiet, the sun will shine, and the temperature will reach a balmy 23 degrees... Fahrenheit. Okay, so it's not Tahiti. "But it feels really pleasant,” says Patrick Woodhead. He would know. As the CEO and co-founder of White Desert, Antarctica’s premiere travel experience, it's his job to ensure that your stay on the notoriously inhospitable continent is as enjoyable as conditions allow.

Which, as it turns out, is still pretty damn enjoyable. White Desert is Antarctica's first and only luxury resort. Woodhead started the operation 10 years ago, on the heels a four-month skiing expedition to the South Pole. He found the unforgiving landscape breathtaking, and figured others—even those disinclined to spend months actively combatting the elements—might, too. “We realized that no one was doing tourism in the Antarctic with any sense of luxury,” he says. “It was all really grueling, tough trips.” White Desert’s camp is neither grueling nor tough. In fact, it's royalty-level cushy. “We’ve hosted Saudi princesses who have never seen snow before,” Woodhead says.

The upshot is that a stay at White Desert will cost you. Eight nights in one of its newly designed “sleeping pods” runs a minimum of $45,000. (For an extra 25 grand, you can visit the South Pole.)

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/weeks...nd=wired&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

One for my bucket-list - when my lotto numbers come up.

Years ago, I was very tempted to apply for an IT position with the British Antarctic Survey. Whilst based in Cambridge, it would have included extended stays, including over-Winter at the Antarctic base and my wife wasn't keen on the idea.
 

ramonmercado

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One for my bucket-list - when my lotto numbers come up.

Years ago, I was very tempted to apply for an IT position with the British Antarctic Survey. Whilst based in Cambridge, it would have included extended stays, including over-Winter at the Antarctic base and my wife wasn't keen on the idea.

Werner Herzog made a documentary about life on an Antarctic base.

Encounters at the End of the World
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encounters_at_the_End_of_the_World
 

Mythopoeika

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Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar

ramonmercado

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Today in 1974 the warmest reliably measured temperature within the Antarctic Circle, of +59 °F (+15 °C), is recorded at Vanda Station


 

blessmycottonsocks

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Today in 1974 the warmest reliably measured temperature within the Antarctic Circle, of +59 °F (+15 °C), is recorded at Vanda Station

And where was Greta to give the stare of death to all the 1970s world leaders for such dramatic climate change?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Spotted a couple of photos from Turret Point on King George Island, showing what looks like the tip of a pyramid.
Judging from the nearby penguins, it seems to extend to around a metre above the surface.
I recall the pyramid off the French coast, which was likely to be a wartime "dragon's tooth" anti-tank trap, but isn't Antarctica a long way away from any war zone?

pyramid.JPG

https://www.researchgate.net/public..._Natural_Wonders_Mystery_nanji_jinzita_zhi_mi
 

AlchoPwn

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I recall the pyramid off the French coast, which was likely to be a wartime "dragon's tooth" anti-tank trap, but isn't Antarctica a long way away from any war zone?
Well... As it turns out, King George Island is currently claimed by Britain, Chile and Argentina. I believe it is administered by Britain, but many countries run research stations there, including the USA and Russia. While I am not going to say that I think that rock is an anti-tank trap, these islands could well become an international flash-point if territorial disputes flare up.
 

ramonmercado

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Well... As it turns out, King George Island is currently claimed by Britain, Chile and Argentina. I believe it is administered by Britain, but many countries run research stations there, including the USA and Russia. While I am not going to say that I think that rock is an anti-tank trap, these islands could well become an international flash-point if territorial disputes flare up.

Or it could be a shrine built by the penguins to worship their deity.
 

ramonmercado

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Hopefully they won't disturb any creatures from the stars living in the dome.

An Antarctic ice dome may offer the world’s clearest views of the night sky
By Maria Temming 21 HOURS AGO

An observatory in the heart of Antarctica could have the world’s clearest views of the night sky.

If an optical telescope were built on a tower a few stories tall in the middle of the Antarctic Plateau, it could discern celestial features about half the size of those typically visible to other observatories, researchers report online July 29 in Nature. The observatory would achieve such sharp vision by peering above the atmosphere’s lowermost layer, known as the boundary layer, responsible for much of the undulating air that muddles telescope images (SN: 10/4/18).

The thickness of Earth’s boundary layer varies across the globe. Near the equator, it can be hundreds of meters thick, limiting the vision of premier optical telescopes in places like the Canary Islands and Hawaii (SN: 10/14/19). Those telescopes usually cannot pick out celestial features smaller than 0.6 to 0.8 arc seconds — the apparent width of a human hair from about 20 meters away.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/antarctic-ice-dome-world-clearest-views-night-sky-milky-way
 

ramonmercado

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The story of The Belgica Expedition and how a charlatan's reputation may be restored. A long article excerpted from Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night, by Julian Sancton.

I first heard of the Belgica expedition in the spring of 2015, while procrastinating at my desk at Departures magazine.

I was flipping through the latest issue of The New Yorker when I found a headline that caught my interest: “Moving to Mars.” It was about an ongoing experiment taking place on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa—about as close as the earth gets to a Martian environment—in which six volunteers lived in isolation under a geodesic dome for a NASA-funded study on team dynamics, in preparation for eventual missions to the Red Planet.

In classic New Yorker fashion, the author, Tom Kizzia, backed into the story. The first few paragraphs were about an expedition that took place 120 years ago, involving the first men to endure an Antarctic winter. Kizzia mentioned the “‘mad-house’ promenade” around the ship, a phrase that immediately jumped out at me. I was intrigued to find out what possible connection there might be between the Belgica and far-flung space exploration. But even more fascinating to me was the character of the physician, Frederick Albert Cook, known as one of America’s most shameless hucksters, who through relentless ingenuity nevertheless managed to save the expedition from catastrophe.

I’ve always been drawn to heroic antiheroes: Sherlock Holmes, Butch Cassidy, Han Solo. When I looked further into Cook’s story and learned that he lived out his final days in Larchmont, New York, in a house I pass every time I walk my dog, it felt like a sign: there was no way I wasn’t writing this book.

Thus began a five-year obsession that took me across the world, from Oslo to Antwerp to Antarctica, on the trail of the Belgica and her men. The narrative that unfolded before me, through diaries and other primary sources, turned out to be far richer than the simple good yarn I’d imagined at first. The expedition shaped two future giants of exploration, one rightly revered, Roald Amundsen, and one unfairly maligned, the aforementioned Cook. It culminated with an epic breakout from the tenacious Antarctic pack ice that, in its scale and ambition, rivals the greatest man-versus-nature struggles in history and literature. And its legacy proved much more consequential than the mere survival of (most of) its men.

One of the challenges I faced in recreating a journey that took place so long ago, and in such extreme isolation, was getting access to the sensory quality of the experience. Not just what happened day to day, or what coordinates the ship reached along her circuitous drift, but what it must have been like for the men aboard, both to discover such splendors and to endure such hardship. To my delight, it soon became apparent that the Belgica voyage was among the most well-documented polar missions of the heroic age, in which no fewer than ten men kept detailed diaries or logs (even though one was later burned). ...

https://lithub.com/polar-nightmare-on-one-of-the-first-international-expeditions-of-the-modern-era/
 

charliebrown

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I heard that to stay at Antarctic you have to prove that you had your appendix removed and had seen a dentist recently ?
 

Victory

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The story of The Belgica Expedition and how a charlatan's reputation may be restored. A long article excerpted from Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night, by Julian Sancton.

I first heard of the Belgica expedition in the spring of 2015, while procrastinating at my desk at Departures magazine.
...

https://lithub.com/polar-nightmare-on-one-of-the-first-international-expeditions-of-the-modern-era/

That looks an intense but awesome read.
 

ramonmercado

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A new record!

A giant slab of ice bigger than the Spanish island of Majorca has sheared off the edge of Antarctica into the Weddell Sea to become the largest iceberg afloat, the European Space Agency said on Wednesday.

The newly calved berg, designated A-76 by scientists, was spotted in recent satellite images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, the space agency said in a statement posted on its website with a photo of the enormous, oblong ice sheet.

Its surface area spans 4,320sq km (1,668 sq miles) and measures 175km (106 miles) long by 25km wide.

By comparison, Spain’s tourist island of Majorca in the Mediterranean occupies 3,640sq km.

A-76, which broke away from Antarctica’s Ronne Ice Shelf, is now the largest iceberg on the planet, surpassing the now second-place A-23A, about 3,380sq km in size and also floating in the Weddell Sea.

Another massive Antarctic iceberg that had threatened a penguin-populated island off the southern tip of South America has since lost much of its mass and broken into pieces, scientists said earlier this year.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/env...largest-iceberg-forms-in-antarctica-1.4570486
 

EnolaGaia

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A newly published research paper suggests indigenous peoples reached Antarctic waters, and perhaps viewed Antarctica itself, before the European explorations in the early 19th century.
New Research Shows Māori Traveled to Antarctica at Least 1,000 Years Before Europeans

... The first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica was attributed to a Russian expedition in 1820, while the first landing on the mainland is attributed to an American explorer in 1821.

Now, a new paper by New Zealander researchers suggests that the indigenous people of mainland New Zealand - Māori - have a significantly longer history with Earth's southernmost continent.

The research team, led by conservation biologist Priscilla Wehi from Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, looked at oral histories as well as 'grey literature' – meaning research, reports, technical documents and other material published by organizations outside common academic or commercial publishing channels.

"We found connection to Antarctica and its waters have been occurring since the earliest traditional voyaging ..." said Wehi.

The researchers first highlight an early 7th century southern voyage by a Polynesian chief Hui Te Rangiora and his crew. This would have likely made them the first humans to see Antarctic waters, over a thousand years before the Russian expedition and even long before Polynesian settlers' planned migration to New Zealand. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/who-we...p-maori-s-long-history-with-the-icy-continent

PUBLISHED PAPER:
Priscilla M. Wehi, Nigel J. Scott, Jacinta Beckwith, Rata Pryor Rodgers, Tasman Gillies, Vincent Van Uitregt & Krushil Watene (2021)
A short scan of Māori journeys to Antarctica
Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand
DOI: 10.1080/03036758.2021.1917633
 
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