Frozen in Ice, Maxwell Bay.

mar-sem-fim-14[6]by Kaushik
Mar Sem Fim (“Endless Sea” in English) is a Brazilian yacht that was shipwrecked, sunk and subsequently got frozen in ice in Maxwell Bay of Ardley Cove, Antarctica, about 1,200 kilometres south of the tip of South America, in April 7th, 2012.
The yacht that belonged to the famed Brazilian journalist and entrepreneur João Lara Mesquita, was manned by four crew who were filming a documentary off the Antarctic coast when the boat capsized.
Strong winds in excess of 100-kilometer per hour had tossed the boat from one side to the other “like a bucking bronco in a rodeo,” according to one crew member.
With their vessel trapped in ice, the crew radioed for help and was received by the Chilean navy in the base in Bahia Fildes, in Antarctica.
All four researchers were eventually rescued but bad weather delayed the process by two days.
João Lara Mesquita, who was also in the yacht, wrote in his blog:
“Then, with strong winds and high waves, the boat Frei came to us. Our evacuation was epic.
Waves of more than 1.5 meters and winds over 40 knots made the boat jump from one side to another, like a bucking bronco. When it got close, each of us … threw ourselves into the arms of three Chilean crew members. Fortunately all went safely.”
via Amusing Planet – Amazing Places, Wonderful People, Weird Stuff.

Bar at the Bottom of the World.

imageJust off the small Zodiac boat required to access freezing Galindez Island in Antarctica lies the world’s southernmost bar — the Bar at Vernadsky Research Base.
This tiny, one-room social area is located among the same research facilities where scientists first discovered the hole in the ozone layer.
The bar was built by carpenters during the station’s British stewardship, although they were supposed to use the wood to build a new pier for the complex.
Instead they decided the base needed a place to drink.
i1
The carpenters built the bar to recall the rustic pubs of their homeland with exposed wooden beams and aging photographs of Antarctica explorers.
After the station’s purchase by the Ukraine in 1996, the bar became a firmly Ukrainian establishment where you can drink and cavort with researchers during the off hours.
In addition to the standard libations, the bar also makes its own vodka using the surrounding glacial ice.
The drink can be purchased for three dollars a glass or it is free with the donation of some womens’ undergarments to display behind the bar.
Judging by the decor, there have been a number of free drinks.
via Essential Guide: Bars at the End of the World | Atlas Obscura.

Ice Cube Research Station.

ao
IceCube Research Station. Photo by icecube.wisc.edu
Call it a telescope, call it a detector, or call it an observatory – it’s all the same to the University of Wisconsin scientists at the IceCube, which is now the world’s largest neutrino research array.
The IceCube array consists of 86 identical holes, drilled 1.5 miles deep, scattered throughout the ice and filled with extremely sensitive particle physics monitoring equipment.
The IceCube is a tangential facility of the much larger Amundson-Scott South Pole Station, both of which are literally located at the South Pole in Antarctica, where temperatures are normally a deadly -75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The research being done at the IceCube is obscure and esoteric, as they essentially search for signs of tiny subatomic particles called neutrinos as they streak through the crystal clear ice thousands of feet below the surface, but its impact could be profound.
Neutrinos are one of the most mysterious building blocks of the universe, and while studying them is notoriously difficult, the more scientists understand about their behavior, the more they will be able to explain about how the universe works.
More heralded and easily understood than the science of the lab is remarkable engineering it took to create it. Beyond the extreme difficulties of travel and habitation at the South Pole, the drilling of the all-important holes used for the array’s sensors is an engineering marvel.
Using highly advanced equipment, scientists bored into the earth with an ultra-high-pressure hot water drill, not unlike a massive power washer.
Each tube took approximately 40 hours to drill in total.
wo
Antarctica seems like a long way to go to measure one tiny particle, but the darkness and purity of the subsurface ice at the South Pole creates a naturally ideal environment for detecting neutrinos, which almost never actually interact with matter, making them very hard to measure.
via IceCube Research Station | Atlas Obscura.

The Mystery of Antarctica’s Blood Falls solved.

Blood Falls, named for its ruddy colour, is not, in fact, a gush of blood from some unseen wound.
The colour was initially chalked up to red algae, but a new study in the Journal of Glaciology has uncovered its true origin using radar to scan the layers of ice from which the river pours.
Located in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys, the falls pour forth from Taylor Glacier, and the liquid bubbles up from fissures in the glacier’s surface.
The flow was previously a mystery, as the mean temperature is -17 degrees Celsius and little glacial melting can be seen at the surface.
Imaging from underneath the glacier helped solve the mystery, revealing a complex network of subglacial rivers and a subglacial lake—all filled with brine high in iron, giving the falls its reddish tint.
According to the study, the makeup of the brine explains the fact that it flows instead of freezes.“The brine remains liquid within the subglacial and englacial environments through latent heat of freezing coupled with elevated salt content,” the study explains.
Read further via What’s Really In Antarctica’s Mysterious Blood Falls | Nature | National Geographic Australia – National Geographic

3 Penitent Penguins arrive early for Church.

In a photo titled “Mom, do we always have to be the first ones at church?” three king penguins approach the only church on South Georgia Island, near Antarctica, appearing to be headed for services.
Image Credit: Photograph by Carl Henry/Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards/Barcroft Images
See more great Images via Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards Are Back : The Two-Way : NPR