Cooking at -94ºF is not your regular food experience. Cyprien Verseux shared some hilarious pictures of his attempts from a remote scientific base in Antarctica.
Cyprien, a glaciologist and astrobiologist, works on Concordia Station, a scientific base far from civilization. In his free time, he writes a blog about the extreme experiences he faces there.
A Place Away From Everything
Concordia Station is a French-Italian scientific base, 1,670 km away from the South Pole. It is fair to say that it is one of the most unwelcoming working places in the world.
At such extreme weather conditions, not even bacteria survive. We can safely say that Cyprien and his colleagues are truly alone.
The desert landscape, where oxygen levels are low, is a bleak yet fascinating environment. About its inaccessibility, Cyprien said:
"Nine months a year, during the winter, it cannot be left or reached. It is so cold that vehicles can't come and go. We are currently 13 people: technicians, scientists, a cook, and a medical doctor."
Inhospitable, But Important For Science
Describing the almost unimaginable scenery, the scientist continued:
"It is the coldest place on Earth, with temperatures reaching below -80°C in winter. We saw the Sun again in August after three months without it ever passing the horizon. The air is dry and poor in oxygen."
Although working here is so difficult, this place offers necessary data to scientists from many different fields. In fact, the unique samples they gather here can give us answers about our past and future. Cyprien explained:
"In spite of being in an inhospitable desert, Concordia is highly attractive to researchers from different fields such as astronomy, human physiology (The European Space Agency is using it to study human adaptation to what is very similar to future conditions of a Moon or Mars base), glaciology, atmospheric sciences, astrobiology, and geophysics."
Vital Research About Climate Change
The work of Cyprien and his colleagues at Concordia focuses, among other things, on climate change and its possible effects. By looking at the shifts in the past, they hope to get a glance at our future. In Cyprien's words:
"Research done here yields invaluable information on climate change. It is thanks to the EPICA project conducted here that we know that greenhouse gas levels, specifically carbon dioxide and methane, have never been so high in at least the past 800 000 years."
Let's Have Some Fun Cooking At -94ºF
Despite the extreme cold and almost alien landscape, Cyprien found some time for play. He tried "cooking" in the freezing temperatures and took hilarious pictures of the results. He explained:
"We run out of fresh food early in the winter (as we have no resupply from early February to early November), so we eat mostly frozen food: given that the temperatures never are in the positive, we just store it in containers outside."
Omelet For Two
How About Some Noodles?
This is not your regular brunch, that is for sure. It actually seems like, in Antarctica, gravity laws do not apply to food.