If you're a lover of the novels of Magnus Mills, then you may have read his Explorers of the New Century, in which two rival expeditions traverse distinctly polar terrain. The expeditions are vying to be the first to arrive at the "Agreed Furthest Point" (AFP), the point furthest from civilization.
Imagine my surprise to find out that there actually is such a point in real life, called the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility — it's the point on the Antarctic furthest removed from the oceans. And the reason I found out about it is that a joint British-Canadian team has just reached the point a few days ago, the first time in 40 years that humans have been there.
Two Russian teams previously visited the Pole of Inaccessibility, in 1958 and 1967. The base they built there is buried under meters of snow, reports the 2007 expedition, with only a bust of Lenin still sticking out, and it greeted them upon arrival. Lenin's banishment to the point furthest from civilization has a remarkable lyrical poignancy to it — not unlike Magnus Mills' novels, in fact. I wonder if they broke out into a spontaneous recitation of Ozymandias. (Via Geographic Travels with Catholicgauze!)
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Monday, 22 January 2007 08:49
At the Pole of Inaccessibility, meet LeninWritten by Stefan Geens
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