The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is one of the most remote and isolated scientific research facilities on Earth. Situated at the southernmost point on the planet, the station experiences six months of continuous darkness each year. Despite the challenges that come with such a location, the scientists stationed there have developed a unique tradition to help them cope with the long winter nights. They gather together to watch “The Thing,” a horror movie about an alien that attacks a research outpost in Antarctica. This article explores the history and significance of this unusual tradition.
History of “The Thing”
“The Thing” is a classic horror movie from 1982, directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in Antarctica, where a group of researchers at a remote outpost are attacked by a shape-shifting alien. The movie received mixed reviews upon its release, but has since gained a cult following. Its connection to the South Pole tradition comes from its setting and the sense of isolation and danger it conveys.
The Tradition at the South Pole Station
The tradition of watching “The Thing” at the South Pole Station dates back to the 1980s, not long after the movie was released. The idea was to inject some excitement and levity into the long, dark winter nights. The tradition has continued to this day, with researchers and other personnel gathering together to watch the movie and share snacks and drinks. The tradition is seen as a way to bond with colleagues and maintain morale in an otherwise challenging environment.
Origin of the Tradition
The tradition of watching “The Thing” began with a group of scientists who wanted to break up the monotony of the long winter nights. They decided to watch a horror movie set in Antarctica to add some excitement and levity to their time at the station. The movie they chose was “The Thing,” and it quickly became a favorite among the researchers.
Significance of Watching “The Thing” Watching
“The Thing” is seen as a way to bond with colleagues and maintain a sense of community in an otherwise challenging environment. It also provides a much-needed break from the monotony of the long winter nights. The movie’s setting in Antarctica makes it particularly relevant to the researchers stationed at the South Pole, who can relate to the isolation and danger depicted in the film.
Reactions to the Tradition
The tradition of watching “The Thing” is widely embraced by researchers and personnel at the station. It is seen as a fun and important way to maintain morale and build camaraderie. In addition to watching the movie, the researchers also hold themed parties and events around the movie, adding to the sense of community at the station.
Life at the South Pole Station
Living and working at the South Pole Station comes with a unique set of challenges. The researchers stationed there must cope with extreme cold, isolation, and darkness for months at a time. Despite these challenges, the researchers are well-prepared for emergencies and undergo extensive training before arriving at the station. Maintaining mental health is also a priority, and the tradition of watching “The Thing” is seen as a way to break up the monotony of the long winter nights and maintain morale.
Challenges of Life at the Station
The extreme cold, isolation, and darkness can take a toll on researchers stationed at the South Pole. They must cope with a lack of sunlight, extreme temperatures, and limited contact with the outside world. The station is also located in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth, making it difficult to conduct research and perform day-to-day tasks.
s Researchers at the South Pole Station are well-prepared for emergencies. They undergo extensive training before arriving at the station, and the station is well-stocked with supplies and equipment. The researchers are trained in emergency response procedures and are prepared to handle a wide range of scenarios, including medical emergencies, extreme weather events, and power outages. The station also has a well-equipped medical facility, which can provide basic medical care and emergency treatment.
Maintaining Mental Health
Maintaining mental health is a priority for researchers stationed at the South Pole. The isolation and darkness can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. To combat these feelings, the researchers are encouraged to stay active, engage in social activities, and maintain contact with family and friends back home. The tradition of watching “The Thing” is seen as a way to break up the monotony of the long winter nights and maintain morale.
In conclusion, the tradition of watching “The Thing” at the South Pole Station is a unique and enduring aspect of life in one of the most remote and isolated places on Earth. While the movie itself is about danger and isolation, the tradition of watching it together has become a way to connect with colleagues and maintain a sense of community in an otherwise challenging environment. The enduring popularity of “The Thing” and its connection to the human experience in extreme conditions is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of those stationed at the South Pole Station. Despite the challenges of living and working in such a remote and inhospitable environment, the researchers at the South Pole Station have found ways to maintain their mental health and build a supportive community. The tradition of watching “The Thing” is just one example of the creative solutions that emerge in such challenging environments. As the researchers continue to push the boundaries of scientific exploration, they will undoubtedly continue to find new ways to thrive in even the most extreme conditions.