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What is it Like to Live in Antarctica?

Episode 4: Antarctica is cold, windy, isolated, barren, and often downright dangerous. Yet somehow, people manage to live there. (Some even enjoy it!)

Premiered: Runtime: 9:41Topic: Planet EarthPlanet EarthNova
Premiered on PBS

People have been visiting Antarctica for over a century—and hosts Caitlin Saks and Arlo Pérez can actually see what living there used to be like, because some of the early explorers left all their stuff! One of the earliest expeditions was that of Robert Falcon Scott, from 1910-1913, more commonly known as the Terra Nova Expedition. (No, they didn’t name it after this YouTube Channel.) Its “home-base” hut is still intact: desiccated penguin, seal blubber, science experiments, and all.

Today, living in Antarctica is a bit different. But still, an eclectic band of scientists and support personnel are drawn to the continent and, every year, a crew makes their home on “the ice.” Starting at the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station and then while exploring Antarctica’s natural wonders—glaciers, a volcano, Weddell seals, and even weird fish—Arlo and Caitlin meet the people who find themselves in Antarctica year after year.

But will they be able to discover what it is about this icy, seemingly inhospitable place that’s so alluring to geologists, astrobiologists, and waste managers alike?

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Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.

Major funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, the George D. Smith Fund, and the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1713552. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Footage of seals was obtained under the authority of NMFS MMPA permit nos.1032-1917, 17236, & 21158