Midwinter greetings from ConcordiaCredits: IPEV/PNRA–M. Buttu
Dr. Carmen Possnig is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. She facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. In the following post, Carmen discusses life in Antarctica.
A Belgian expedition started the first (involuntary) hibernation in Antarctica in 1898-1899, but I doubt that they celebrated it. They experienced the winter as “dreary, cheerless days” and midwinter as “the darkest day of the night; a more dismal sky and a more depressing scene could not be imagined.” On top of that Nansen, the ship’s cat, died at that time.
However, it is known that during Scott’s first Antarctic expedition, probably initiated by Shackelton in 1902, midwinter was celebrated. Since then, it has been an Antarctic tradition to celebrate June 21, and in most stations this is done with enthusiasm.
Beach, palm trees and a bar.Credits: IPEV/PNRA–M. Baricevic
While the longest day is celebrated in Europe, we do not have the longest night – which has been going on since May anyway – but the darkest hours, and at the same time the moment when ...