Arktika, the second nuclear-powered icebreaker made by the Soviet Union, was the first surface ship to reach the North Pole.
Pobeda Ice Island was first discovered in 1840. It was seen again in the 1910s, but was gone by the late 1920s. By the 1960s it was back, only to disappear again in the 1970s.
Thwaites Glacier, in West Antarctica, is roughly the size of Florida. This glacier alone contributes four percent of the global rise in sea levels, and if it melted completely oceans would be 65cm higher – hence its alternative name, the Doomsday Glacier.
According to Jewish law, Shabbat begins at sundown. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But what do you do if the sun does not set?
Antarctica has eight churches: four Catholic, one non-denominational, and three Eastern orthodox.
Up near the Arctic Circle, the best waterproof parkas are made out of guts.
In May 2000, astrophysicist Dr. Rodney Marks fell ill and died at the geographic South Pole. His cause of death is known, but the reason for his death remains a mystery.
Before you move into Villa Las Estrellas you must have your appendix removed.
Three people can lay claim to being the first person born in Antarctica: the first born in Antarctic waters, the first born on an Antarctic island, and the first born on the Antarctic mainland.
We’ve all heard of the Dead Sea, so salty that people naturally float in it. But the Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia is saltier, and the Don Juan Pond in Antarctica is so salty that it doesn’t freeze, even at -50°C.
In 1959, a block of glacier ice was carried – without refrigeration – from the Arctic Circle, through Europe, across the Sahara, and all the way to the Equator. It was perhaps the greatest publicity stunt in history.
Every year in late February and early March, at the South Pole research station, the last flight leaves and the last sun sets. Neither will return for months. How do you mark such an occasion? With a horror film festival, of course.
I write about blood a lot. Sorry. But there’s a waterfall in Antarctica that is the colour of blood. And it has some interesting implications for astrobiology and extinction event survival.