Wilson's Stone Igloo – Antarctica - Atlas Obscura

Wilson's Stone Igloo

A remains of a stone shelter are a reminder of "The Worst Journey in the World." 


Wilson’s Stone Igloo is on Igloo Spur, a small spur 160 m. up the general ridge extending southeast from Bomb Peak, east of Ross Island, Antarctica.

Named and mapped by New Zealand Geological Survey Antarctic Expedition (NZGSAE), 1958–59, because it was on this feature that Dr. Edward A. Wilson and his party built a stone shelter during Robert Falcon Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13 - Scott and Wilson’s last.

Ed Wilson, Birdie Bowers, and Apsley Cherry-Garrard set out from Cape Evans in the middle of the Antarctic winter on foot and sledge, a 70-mile journey. They endured extreme cold, frostbite, starvation, and near-death so they could be the first to collect emperor penguin eggs from the colony at Cape Crozier. The party ran into foul weather, lost a tent, and built a makeshift shelter out of rocks where they lay face down for three days waiting for the weather to clear. Their incredible journey is chronicled in Cherry-Garrard’s “The Worst Journey in the World.”

The “igloo” now looks like a ring of rocks filled with the tatters of the nearly failed expedition: penguin parts, shreds of canvas, wind-worn wool clothing, a test tube, rope, and rusted tin cans, all perfectly preserved by the Antarctic cold. It is Classified as a Category 1 heritage site (historic monument no. 21) by the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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