Around the world, around the wor-ld!

Out in front of the station lies the Ceremonial South Pole. A candy striped pole topped with a chromium ball is garlanded in a semi-circle by the 12 flags of the original signatories of the 1956 Antarctic treaty – Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Belgium, Japan, Russia and France.

The station lies on an ice sheet over three miles thick, that is moving approximately 10m a year. Therefore, whislt the exact position of the pole stays constant in relation to the crust of the earth, the position above on the ice moves, similar to how when a tablecloth is pulled off centre on a table, whilst the salt and pepper shaker will move with it, they will need to be repositioned to be back in the centre of the table. Several years ago, an Australian citizen resident at the pole died, and as a mark of respect, the Australian flag pole was emblazened with a plaque in his memory, and the flags at the Ceremonial Pole have not been moved since as a mark of respect. The Geographical South Pole continues to move in relation to the overlying ice sheet. Each year, on New Years Day, the standard is moved to the newly surveyed position, with a new pole marker installed. Carefully crafted by the preceeding winter’s machinist, these increasingly intricate constructs of brass and other metal denote the bottom of the world.

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One Response to Around the world, around the wor-ld!

  1. Noel says:

    Hope you took a new NZ flag down with you. Might need it soon. LOL

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