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Conservators Restored the South Pole's First Human Dwellings

These days, research stations in Antarctica have all kinds of high tech features, and are generally made of aerodynamic stainless steel, since they need to be able to withstand blizzards, fierce winds and unforgiving temperatures. The prefabricated timber-frame shacks used by the British adventurers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott and their crews a century ago most assuredly do not fit that bill, although they are somehow still standing. Thanks to the Antarctic Heritage Trust, Shackleton's Nimrod hut, dating to 1907, and the Scott crew's Terra Nova hut, from 1910, have now been restored.

Conservators found some pretty fun stuff inside the abandoned huts. According to National Geographic, never-before-seen notebooks from the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition were discovered inside one of the shacks, while in the other shack, "workers unearthed a stash of whiskey and brandy, libations that fortified the men during the 1907 Nimrod expedition."

The cold effectively preserved many artifacts, like a stuffed penguin and cans of hundred-year-old food. It took conservators a decade to restore the four huts, which had been abandoned to the elements since the 1940s, and suffered water damage. "That they've survived for a century is really tremendous good luck—they weren't made for that at all," lead conservator Gordon Macdonald told National Geographic.

· 100 Years Later, Antarctic Explorers' Huts Look Frozen in Time [National Geographic]
· A Rare Peek Inside The Architecture Of Antarctic Exploration [Co.Design]
· All Served Over Ice posts [Curbed National]