The Most Inhospitable Place on the Planet


Before I get to what I was going to talk about today, I’ll catch you up on what’s been going on. I went rock climbing today after about 9 months without it. I love it so much. The thrill from climbing is just so great. Actually, now that I’m talking about it, it’s a little hard to explain. I think climbing is a rush for me, because I am able to physically conquer something. I’ve gotta go back soon.

Also, I am trying to use the time that I have left in Illinois effectively. Needless to say, I have been locking in my days seeing people, cleaning, doing errands, going to meetings, working, filling out immigration paperwork, etc. It’s been strangely busy. Still, there are the moments of lull…where I am doing nothing. It feels so deserved, but also so pointless. Hmmm.

So the other day, I heard this piece on NPR, via the BBC “World Service: Outlook” about…well, here’s the tage-line they used for the radio piece:

Today’s extraordinary personal stories come from Antarctica, the continent “where humans don’t belong”. We hear from scientists, writers and musicians who have made temporary homes in the white continent – their work inspired by the unique conditions in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet.

I have to say…it was Really Cool. The piece talked about the pristine clear waters below the ice formations that have 3000 foot visibility. 3000 FEET!! That’s insane. That’s over 8 football fields long! Also, one scientist talked about the white-outs they would have there. She talked about how in some white-outs you could still see the shadows and shapes, but in this whiteout, there was nothing. It was a void. Just a Giant White Void. She was frightened to enter into it, for fear of not making it back. She reported that when she was inside the white-out, it was peaceful, still, calm, and quite. None of the visitors had experienced anything like it before.

More visitors talked about how the air smelled so fresh and clean. They said the sky looked brand new, and they had never seen anything like it before. It was as if the world outside the Continent didn’t exist. They ended saying that Antartica was in control, and it was so strange to experience. If Antartica said no one was coming in today, then no one was coming in today. No one dared question or test the will of the Continent.

I absolutely recommend listening to this piece, it’s only a little under 30 minutes, and you will gain an interesting perspective on the 7th Continent like you’ve never before. It made me want to visit there!

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