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The Ghosts of Antarctica: Abandoned Stations and Huts
DRB ^ | 09 Dec 2008 | Constantine vonHoffman

Posted on 12/15/2008 10:24:29 AM PST by BGHater

More ghosts per capita than any continent

Does Antarctica have the most ghosts of any continent? On a per capita basis, the answer is yes.



While the South Pole and environs doesn’t have a permanent population, there are on average 2,500 people living there during the year -- approximately 4000 in summer and 1000 incredibly hardy ones in winter (source). While no complete necrologies exists for the Antarctic, at least 268 people have died there since humanity first decided it was a good place to visit. So if the ghosts divvie the work evenly, each one only has to haunt 9.68992 inhabitants. (Some lists of who has died way down south include a certain Mrs. Chippy. I have chosen to leave her out of my calculations as she was a cat and if we include her we have to include penguins and then it’s Katy bar the door.)

Antarctica is a very popular place to abandon

In addition to having a light work load, Antarctic spirits also have an abundance of residences to choose from thanks to the huge number of ghost towns and other such haunts. For obvious reasons, Antarctica is a very popular place to abandon. Below is a map of places abandoned by just the British on the Antarctic Peninsula.


(image credit: United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust)

The most famous and disturbingly well-preserved of these places is the camp built by Robert Scott and his party on Ross Island in 1911. The seaweed-insulated wooden cabin and its outbuildings were supposed to be the team’s shelter when they returned from their attempt to be the first people to visit the South Pole.


(images credit: 1, 2)

Robert Falcon Scott is shown on the top right (photos by John Weaver and Herbert Ponting)

Scott and four others -- Edward Wilson, H. R. Bowers, Laurence Oates and Edgar Evans -- set out from the base to reach the pole. They reached it on Jan. 17, 1912 only to find that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had gotten there weeks before them. All five men died trying to get back to the base camp. The final three – Scott, Wilson and Bowers – were just 11 miles from it when they died.


photos by John Weaver

Today this hut can easily be visited as it close to both the US Base at McMurdo or New Zealand's Scott Base. Be warned though, global warming is beginning to take its toll and the 100-year-old seal blubber which had been in deep freeze has begun to smell “quite rancid.” Go here if you would like to support efforts to preserve the huts. Here is the Evans Hut; on the right is the seal blubber...


(images credit: 1 and 2)

Deception Island is a deceptive place indeed

The oldest actual ghost town can be found at Whaler’s Bay on Deception Island. Here is an abandoned Deception base:


(images credit: Lyubomir Ivanov and Sergio Pitamitz)

and a Deception hangar -


(images credit: David Zaks and Lyubomir Ivanov)

In 1906 a Norwegian-Chilean whaling company started using Whalers Bay as a base for a factory ship. Other whaling operations followed suit and a boom town was born. Whalers Bay was abandoned in 1931 following a precipitous decline in the market for whale oil, a result of the Great Depression.


(image credit: David Zaks)

Do not be deceived, however. The rest of Deception Island is actually a fairly hopping place. In addition to science bases operated by Spain and Argentina, it is also one of the more popular tourist destinations in the Antarctic. This is probably because (thanks to volcanic activity) the island actually has places where one can be warm.



(images credit: David Zaks)

Creepy whaling outposts, left to wither in the winds of time


(image credit: expeditions.com)

South Georgia is another Antarctic island that people rushed to abandon. At least seven whaling communities existed there during the first half of the 20th century. When all were up and running the island was estimated to have 2,000 people living on it. Most of the towns are in the process of returning to a state of wilderness but some buildings – notably in the town of Grytviken – have been kept up and are also becoming a tourist destination.


(image credit: Wolfratz)

Stromness Harbour boilers and power generators:



(images credit: mclaren.gs)

Portuguese graveyard, and a huge Leith Harbour whaling ghost station:



Grytviken ships "Dias" and "Albatros":



The whaler's cinema... and some old harpoon guns.


(images credit: mclaren.gs)

It is worth noting that these frozen islands have been the subject of heated arguments over who actually owns them – mostly by the UK and Argentina. Deception was initially claimed by the UK and then apparently ceded to the Argentines. South Georgia and the South Shetland islands are still possessed by the UK. The dispute over ownership of South Georgia was a contributing factor in The Falklands War (described by Argentine writer Jorge Louis Borges as “two bald men fighting over a comb”) and was briefly occupied by the Argentines. It is possible wars have been fought over more useless pieces of real estate but none come to mind.


(photos by Richard Harrington)

Slicing through the silence...

...the ghastly tall ship arrives. The Almirante Brown Research Station - abandoned by Argentina, awaits in the mist:


(image credit: Scotus)

The Real "Mountains of Madness"

One other thing that would attract ghosts to Antarctica: It’s the only place on the planet where they have their own mountain range. The Gamburtsevs is a range of mountains practically at the center of the continent which geologists call the "ghost range". Despite being of a size comparable to the Alps they have never been seen by humans, nor is it likely they ever will because they are covered by up to 4km of ice. Researchers are currently seeking to map the mountains using radar and other methods. (more info)

And then, there are meteorites bombarding Antarctica (which is considered to be a "meteorite collector" - most of our knowledge about meteorites comes from there) Scientists go out in snowmobiles to hunt for meteorites (kind of like picking mushrooms), spotting and recovering them from the East Antarctic Icesheet:


(images credit: The Antarctic Search for Meteorites)


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: antarctica; godsgravesglyphs; stations

1 posted on 12/15/2008 10:24:30 AM PST by BGHater
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To: BGHater

FASCINATING...........


2 posted on 12/15/2008 10:32:57 AM PST by ALASKA (I feel more like I do today than I did yesterday.....)
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To: BGHater

Very COOL post...thank you....neat!


3 posted on 12/15/2008 10:46:05 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: BGHater

Thanks for posting this interesting piece. Most of us will never get the chance to see this ourselves.


4 posted on 12/15/2008 10:48:29 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: BGHater

There is an interesting book: “By the Seat of My Pants” by Dean C. Smith. He was a pilot on one of Admiral Richard Byrd’s Antarctic expeditions around 1929, when they were first to fly over the South Pole. According to Smith, Byrd was a pilot (naval aviator), but not a very good one. They didn’t get along. I had a friend who also knew Byrd up on the coast of Maine, where he was regarded as a sort of lovable eccentric. But he did a great deal to open up Antarctica to exploration.


5 posted on 12/15/2008 10:51:10 AM PST by 19th LA Inf
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To: BGHater

Now that WAS interesting!! Thanks


6 posted on 12/15/2008 10:53:12 AM PST by Uversabound (Our Military past and present: Our Highest example of Brotherhood of Man & Doing God's Will)
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To: 19th LA Inf
‘Admiral Richard Byrd’

Have the Mastodons ever been found that they saw?

7 posted on 12/15/2008 10:55:00 AM PST by BGHater (Obama is a Neocon.)
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To: BGHater
Be warned though, global warming is beginning to take its toll and the 100-year-old seal blubber which had been in deep freeze has begun to smell “quite rancid.”

Does the data show that Antarctica has been warming in recent years?

8 posted on 12/15/2008 11:06:22 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: 19th LA Inf

http://www.south-pole.com/p0000099.htm

Incredible what men have done under extreme circumstances.


9 posted on 12/15/2008 11:10:37 AM PST by Leg Olam (I have a dream that one day, chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned)
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To: BGHater

Facinating. Thanks for posting this.


10 posted on 12/15/2008 11:12:06 AM PST by Badeye (There are no 'great moments' in Moderate Political History. Only losses.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Just pinging you because I thought you'd find it interesting.

Best,

L

11 posted on 12/15/2008 11:18:17 AM PST by Lurker ("America is at that awkward stage. " Claire Wolfe, call your office.)
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To: BGHater

FR a bastion of Knowledge for decades to come thanks
BGHATER


12 posted on 12/15/2008 11:25:40 AM PST by Rightly Biased (McCain is the reason Sarah Lost <><)
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To: BGHater

Very interesting, thanks for posting!


13 posted on 12/15/2008 11:27:28 AM PST by Travis T. OJustice (Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.)
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To: Lurker; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Lurker. Modern history, but I think it's pingworthy. :')
doesn’t have a permanent population, there are on average 2,500 people living there during the year -- approximately 4000 in summer and 1000 incredibly hardy ones in winter... at least 268 people have died there since humanity first decided it was a good place to visit.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


14 posted on 12/15/2008 11:42:06 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, December 6, 2008 !!!)
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To: BGHater; SunkenCiv

If you look underneath the city of Bouvetøya there is an alien temple. ;)


15 posted on 12/15/2008 11:56:59 AM PST by Perdogg (01-20-2013 Obama's last day - If we survive)
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To: BGHater

Thanks. That was fascinating.


16 posted on 12/15/2008 11:58:41 AM PST by hc87
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To: BGHater

What a wonderful post.

Thank you.

I did my grade 6 science project on the Scott Expedition.

I only received an -A because I used Contact Cement to glue the pictures in.

The teacher said reading it gave her a headache.


17 posted on 12/15/2008 12:02:48 PM PST by fanfan (Update on Constitutional Crisis in Canada.....Click user name)
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To: BGHater

WOW!


18 posted on 12/15/2008 12:19:30 PM PST by enduserindy (I hope he proves us wrong. Really, I do.)
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To: BGHater

Ping for later.


19 posted on 12/15/2008 12:21:01 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Perdogg

Watch the skies!

Watch the skies!


20 posted on 12/15/2008 12:24:45 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: BGHater

Interesting. Some day the moon might be like this except without the ice.


21 posted on 12/15/2008 12:26:52 PM PST by RightWhale (We were so young two years ago and the DJIA was 12,000)
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To: BGHater


This is from just above the hut at Port Lockroy (which the British renamed from Port Lacroix when they took it from the French). Very pretty spot.
22 posted on 12/15/2008 12:29:54 PM PST by jas3
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To: Lee Heggy123

they were of a different breed from todays men....


23 posted on 12/15/2008 12:32:41 PM PST by tatsinfla
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To: BGHater

An EXCELLENT post. Very fascinating.


24 posted on 12/15/2008 3:01:14 PM PST by dware (3 prohibited topics in mixed company: politics, religion and operating systems...)
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To: BGHater

awesome post!!!


25 posted on 12/15/2008 4:27:00 PM PST by DCBryan1 (Arm Pilots&Teachers. Build the Wall. Export Illegals. Profile Muslims. Execute child molesters RFN!)
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To: BGHater

Wow...haunting, ethereal.

Thank you so much for this...

Ed


26 posted on 12/16/2008 4:53:41 AM PST by Sir_Ed
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To: BGHater

this was so cool. Thanks for sharing it!


27 posted on 12/16/2008 5:51:28 AM PST by Cailleach
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To: BGHater; DaveLoneRanger; metmom

Thanks! Very interesting!

Also would be a good idea for a home school lesson.


28 posted on 12/16/2008 7:01:32 AM PST by tutstar (Baptist Ping list - freepmail me to get on or off.)
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To: BGHater

Very interesting.

I wonder if anybody has ever found R.J. MacReady’s frozen body around there.


29 posted on 12/16/2008 9:43:39 AM PST by mowowie
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To: BGHater

Bump, fascinating stuff!


30 posted on 12/16/2008 10:05:48 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: BGHater
Cool post!

or is it C-C-Cold post?

31 posted on 12/16/2008 10:27:27 AM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat lead.)
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To: BGHater

Very fine Post, Indeed. Mountains of Madness!

“It’s rather like being an archaeologist and opening up a tomb in a pyramid and finding an astronaut sitting inside. It shouldn’t be there” —Dr Robin Bell, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

HP LoveCraft & Hindu Mythology BUMP.


32 posted on 12/16/2008 12:44:46 PM PST by swarthyguy (*Bush Promised us Osama, instead we're getting Obama*)
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

Heck this is just an opportunity to get in a cheap shot about global warming.


33 posted on 12/16/2008 4:15:47 PM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: BGHater

Would that we could have leaders like Earnest Shackleton at the helm today.


34 posted on 01/16/2009 2:32:09 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: BGHater

Would that we could have leaders like Earnest Shackleton at the helm today.


35 posted on 01/16/2009 2:32:44 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: gorush
Here's a book for you--Shackleton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tradegy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel. It's an excellent account of Shackleton's "support staff" charged with setting up the food caches for Shackleton to use during his trek across the continent. It's amazing and heartbreaking at the same time.
36 posted on 01/16/2009 3:38:41 PM PST by LSAggie
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To: LSAggie

Thanks, I’ll look it up. I’ve read many of Shackleton’s biographers and would happily read more.


37 posted on 01/16/2009 3:45:39 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: BGHater

Looks cold.


38 posted on 01/16/2009 6:24:21 PM PST by patton (SPQA)
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