Saturday, January 25, 2014

The greatest danger in Antarctica is...

What do you think it is?

Is it...


Falling off the ship?

Freezing to death?

Being attacked by seals?

Being attacked by penguins?
Getting stuck in the ice?

It's actually none of these.  It's FIRE.

Although most of Antarctica is covered by rock or ice, with little to burn, fires have been started there through human activity.  Antarctica is the windiest place on earth, and despite all the glaciers, is very dry because of the cold temperatures. Because it's below freezing most of the time, there is very little available water around the research stations to put a fire out.  There also aren't any flights out in Antarctica's winter, so people at the year-round stations would be stuck there after a fire.

Fire is everywhere, even the Frozen Continent.

A Chinese fishing factory ship off Antarctica caught fire and sank in April 2013.  Luckily, a Norwegian ship was nearby and rescued the crew. Photo taken by the Chilean Navy.
This is an A frame hut used by New Zealanders at Antarctica's Scott Base for field training. It burned down in 2009 when a heater was being re-ignited.  Image from here



  1. Wow - I would have never guessed fire! Very interesting fact.

  2. I would have never guessed that either! But it does make sense now that you've explained it ;)

  3. Now that's an interesting piece of information. And here I thought it was the Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster from Rudolph...


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