I’d Prefer This Story Neat

But it’s really on the rocks

Whisky on (Antarctic) ice
Explorer Ernest Shackleton loved his Scotch whisky. And he left a stash at the bottom of the world.
By Emily Stone — Special to GlobalPost
Published: October 26, 2009 06:29 ET

CAPE ROYDS, Antarctica — This spit of black volcanic rock that juts out along the coast of Antarctica is an inhospitable place. Temperatures drop below –50 Fahrenheit and high winds cause blinding snowstorms. The only neighbors are a colony of penguins that squawk incessantly and leave a pungent scent in their wake.

But if you happen upon the small wooden hut that sits at Cape Royds and wriggled yourself underneath, you’d find a surprise stashed in the foot and a half of space beneath the floorboards. Tucked in the shadows and frozen to the ground are two cases of Scotch whisky left behind 100 years ago by Sir Ernest Shackleton after a failed attempt at the South Pole.

How cool is that? Well, given that it’s Antarctica, I’d say pretty damned cool, but that’s beside the point.

Conservators discovered the wooden cases in January 2006. They were unable to dislodge the crates, but are going in with special tools in January during the Antarctic summer to try to retrieve them. An international treaty dictates that the crates, and any intact bottles that are inside, remain in Antarctica unless they need to be taken off the continent for conservation reasons. The whisky’s condition after a century of freezing and thawing is unknown.

I think a bottle or two needs to be taken off the continent for consumption reasons.

I mean scientific research.


Mind you, at a place named “Cape Royds” I rather expected them to find his stash of Preparation H.

(h/t to Ace)

5 Responses to “I’d Prefer This Story Neat…”

  1. Mark says:

    Heh… I had the same reaction when I saw the name of the Cape. They say sitting on cold rocks …

  2. tree hugging sister says:

    Ebola and I saw the Shackleton exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Well worth the additional $’s for it and gives you a full appreciation of their need for something heftier to quaff. Plus, cuts through the penguin blubber.

  3. mojo says:

    And if anybody ever needed a stiff belt, it was Shackleton’s crew, the poor unlucky bastards…

  4. Gary from Jersey says:

    Great. They put scotch in a box and look what happens a short century later: Franzia.

  5. tree hugging sister says:

    Hahaha! Oh, that was great, Gary!

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