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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Chapter 13 - Scott Discovery Hut

One historical attraction that is very close to McMurdo is the Discovery Hut, or Scott's Hut as it is sometimes called. The Discovery Hut was built by Robert Falcon Scott in 1901 for his expedition to the South Pole. This was a prefabricated hut that his men simply took off the ship and put together. It was primarily used for storage by his group, because it wasn't easy to heat. Many years later Ernest Shackelton used it as a residence for some of his expedition members.

There is a sign at the Discovery Hut that tells about it in several languages. Some cruise ships ferry people in to see this hut because it is so interesting.

Outside of the Hut there is a mummified seal. It is mummified because of the dry, cold air. We thought it was interesting but kind of yucky because there had been snow on it and it was melting and dripping off.

We are going to go inside the hut with a guide. Before you go in you have to wipe your feet so you don't get any water or rocks inside. Only a few visitors can visit these huts each year because even your breath contains chemicals and water that can damage the hut and the things in it. We feel quite priviledged to be allowed to visit.

Inside the hut were lots of artifacts that had been put their by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. Not all the artifacts were from Scott or Shackelton's expeditions, but many were. This box of dog biscuits was from Scott's expedition. They used these to supplement the fresh food they fed their sled dogs.

This is a stove that was used by Shackelton's men. The guide told us that this was such an efficient stove that it could heat a big pot of water in just a few minutes while the bricks around it helped keep the building warm. We thought that was really neat.


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