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December 14, 2011

Gift Shop at the South Pole

Amundsen, 1911
It is exactly 100 years since Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, the last terrestrial frontier. In this race across the desolate icy terrain in 1911,  he had beaten Robert Scott by just a few days. Tragically, Scott died during his return trek from Antarctica.

Fourteen million square miles of ice covers the entire continent. There's a lot more to know about the Antarctic Ice Sheet.  Go to this link if you are interested in the connection between the Antarctic and global warming.

The coldest temperature on earth 
-128.6°F (-89.2°C)  was recorded on this remote, permanently frozen continent. For more than 50 years the US and other countries  are maintaining  permanent stations around the South Pole. They comprise teams of scientists as well as a support staff of cooks, cargo handlers and construction crews.

Click to Enlarge
To commemorate the centenary, about 300 visitors are expected at the South Pole over the course of the short Summer season of December and January, when temperatures hover around - 30 Fahrenheit. Some will ski from the continent’s edge while others will fly in, probably from New Zealand.

Learn more from the Gift Shop at the South Pole.

The CoolAntarctica Gallery has a fine collection of pictures like the one above.

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