Once in a while I actively search Flickr for interesting pictures to invite to the Images of Science group pool, and without specifically searching for the continent I came across several cool Antarctica photos. No pun intended. None of the pictures show snow or penguins. They’re all pictures of research stations, featuring the activity of people in Antarctica.
Below: Captain Scott’s Terra Nova Hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica, by sandwichgirl. Sandwich Girl is somewhat internet famous for writing about living in Antarctica and posing in a bikini in inappropriate weather conditions.
The next picture looks suspiciously crowded. You’re right, that’s not Antarctica, that’s just Belgium, but the big thing that looks like a spaceship is a zero-emission research station that was built for Antarctica. It was pre-assembled in Belgium, officially opened, and then probably disassembled again to ship it to the far end of the earth. Photo by jeroenf who has lots of penguin pictures too.
There seems to be a lot going on with people in Antarctica. I am almost skeptical about the remoteness conveyed in that recent House episode set at the South Pole. Almost, because I know there are busier and less busy places out there, but it does look like fun now. I am intrigued by this huge continent where all human population is either directly or indirectly involved in research. Or tourism, of course. In the rest of the world, human settlement is based largely on where the soil was good for farming or whether there was a river or bay for transport. People – all animals, actually – live where they live because that place is a good place to survive. People live in Antarctica only because they’re curious. What other animal would do that?