Antarctica Dispatch

Journal of my Antarctic experience working to support the United States Antarctic Program.

Ice Tunnels


One of the things you don’t always think about is how we get water and get rid of waste water. The first South Pole station melted snow. Well when more volume was needed they came up with a solution that involved drilling a giant bulbous well using hot water. This is called a ‘rod well’. When the water is used up, waste water is pumped into it. These long tunnels were dug out to carry the water to/from the station. Utility personnel (known as UTs) inspect these tunnels every so often.

Some mementos are left down there such as this pig’s head.

This sturgeon was given to McMurdo in 1995 by a Russian ship’s crew. It was left about for a year or so until it started stinking. A kind soul hand carried it to the South Pole and entombed it here where it will remain.


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