Creepy Abandoned “Discovery Hut” in Antarctica

image from: www.flickr.com

image from: www.flickr.com

This place will put chills down your spine.

Located on Ross Island by McMurdo Sound in Antarctica, the “Discovery Hut” was built in 1902 and has been literally frozen in time for over 100 years now.

image from: storiesthataretrue.wordpress.com

image from: storiesthataretrue.wordpress.com

Discovery Hut was built by Robert Falcon Scott during the Discovery Expedition of 1901–1904. That was only the second ever expedition to the region – the first one had been sixty years prior to that.

Today, McMurdo Base is a bustling research station. On the outskirts of the settlement you can see that Scott’s 1902 expedition hut still stands.

image from: www.atlasobscura.com

image from: www.atlasobscura.com

Discovery Hut was designed off-site by “Professor Gregory”, (the scientific staff leader of the expedition) and prefabricated in Sydney, Australia by James Moore before being transported south to Antarctica by ship.

The square structure has covered verandas on three sides and a pyramidal roof supported by a central post. The inner walls were lined with felt for insulation but this proved to be extremely ineffective. In fact, expedition members are said to have preferred to sleep in tents outside because tents were easier to keep warm that the actual hut.

image from: en.wikipedia.org

image from: en.wikipedia.org

But the harsh extremes of Mother Nature proved beneficial in the long run in terms of preserving the hut. The exterior has had some restoration (i.e. new roof) but hut’s interior – and all its contents – have literally been in a frozen state for 100 years. Almost nothing inside the hut has decayed or rotted.

image from: Wikimedia Commons

image from: Wikimedia Commons

The hut was utilized by two subsequent British expeditions to the region (1910 and 1914), but was left untouched until it was rediscovered in 1956 by US expeditioners.

The Americans shoveled out the snow that had accumulated inside from when blizzards had blown the doors and windows in, but they also removed a couple of artifacts as souvenirs.

Apart from that, the hut was left as it was in the early 1900’s.  Even the food in pans on the cook-stove was left untouched:

image from: tripwow.tripadvisor.com

image from: tripwow.tripadvisor.com

They also left behind seal carcasses, blubber and skeletons from their dinners here…

image from: http://listverse.com

image from: http://listverse.com

(The clunky things hanging from the walls are seal carcasses with fur still on them)

image from: http://listverse.com

image from: http://listverse.com

If you are anything like me – which you probably are if you are reading House Crazy – then you know there is no greater thrill than to happen upon an old abandoned house or cabin in the woods that has remained untouched for long periods of time.

image from: tripwow.tripadvisor.com

image from: tripwow.tripadvisor.com

But this place is the GRANDDADDY of all time capsules!

Here’s a photo from inside the hut during the British expedition:

image from: www.polartrec.com

image from: www.polartrec.com

And here is what that same corner looks like today:

image from: southpoletrip.blogspot.com

image from: southpoletrip.blogspot.com

Isn’t that amazing?

Subsequent explorers have left this historical site largely untouched (per the regulations of the Antarctic Treaty) and have taken away only pictures.

image from: www.art.com

image from: www.art.com

Since this is such a remote location, not a lot of humans have actually visited the hut and that has helped to preserve it from unscrupulous treasure collectors.

image from: earthandsolarsystem.wordpress.com

image from: earthandsolarsystem.wordpress.com

Today the site is maintained by New Zealand and British teams – and by that I mean, shoveling and removing snow and ice.

image from: theforeigner.no

image from: theforeigner.no

Although the dry, frozen climate on Ross Island has had a “freezer effect” on the hut, bacterial and fungal decay reportedly still occur – though these processes are much slower there than in other climates.

As a result, visitors to Discovery Hut describe a terrible rancid smell in the interior.

Hey, it’s a small price to pay for being able to peek inside this authentic time capsule!

 

~~~

Sources:

http://listverse.com/2013/02/13/10-creepy-abandoned-places/

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/discovery-hut

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_Hut

 

 

 

10 Comments

  • livewire1965 says:

    Cool story,And yes i love finding hunting shacks that have been left behind for years when hiking in the woods.:)

  • It’s almost beautiful. As a kid, we (us kids) found an abandoned house in a wooded area. It still had some furniture, canned goods, peeling wallpaper, etc. AND what appeared to be a dark splatter stain on the floor/wall of an upstairs bedroom! We thought someone had been murdered and high-tailed it out of there! Kids…..

  • SueSue says:

    Such a unique place, hut, and story. Loved seeing the before and after photos.

  • Sel says:

    growing up in S.F.Ca. as kids, we would hike the hills and find small houses, one room
    style…in these were old newspapers dated to the 1930’s. All strewn throughout. interesting
    to read. These little shacks, as we called them, were hidden in the wooded areas among
    the trees of redwood and pine. Thickly densed, and ignored, we discovered treasures
    of old. This was up in the Twin Peaks areas. Long ago, we supposed these shacks
    were built for what reasons? we were too young to worry about that.

    Abandoned, and slowly decomposing, hmmm wonder if they are still around? Someday
    i should go back in time and try to find them once again.

  • Sel says:

    no doubt, the only chance might be the strict rules of development there…it takes quite a bit to do anything. lots of red tape. Twin Peaks, was always an older residential area, character
    full of well kept homes. If not development, most likely gone with the winds of time.
    It has been awhile since i have been there….

  • dert wester says:

    Please do get in touch—we love to hear from you.

    http://scottexpedition.com/contact

  • Tara Atkins Braswell says:

    I loved the story, the pictures, and the comments….I’m sure this feed is non active but I wanted to just say “thanks” anyway…Truly enjoyed this.

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