Thursday, July 16, 2009

250 Words: Living in Antarctica

Summers at the bottom of the world are colder than winters at the top. Don't believe me? Ask someone who has summered (wintered) in Antarctica.

Here's the CIA World Factbook map of Antarctica showing the political claims of various countries. The United States lays no claim to any of the continent but has reserved the right to do so in the future. The population of the island is transient, with over 4,000 people living there in the "summer" and about 1,000 in the "winter".

Here's another map. Do you see the red oval? I'm hesitant to say "West" because every place on the continent is actually "North". This mountain range is filled with glaciers. One of the glaciers is named "Henderson Glacier."

In 1964-65 Felix E. Henderson, a Meteorologist for the Weather Bureau, spent 13 months in Antarctica. This means he saw summer and winter (remember, that's our summer) at the "bottom" of the world. Eights Stations, to be exact. He was one of those thousand privileged members of the Antarctica population, an elite member of spent-a-year-in-Antarctica club. The USGS named a glacier after him. Henderson Glacier is "about 7 mi long in the Enterprise Hills, Heritage Range, flowing NE from Schoeck and Hoinkes Peaks to enter Union Glacier just E of Mount Rossman."

Felix works at the Central Library. His great patience, easy going personality, and precision to detail are the traits of a Meteorologist stationed in Antarctica for over a year.


  1. Great story, Gerry, and super pic of Felix!

  2. Loved the "zooming in" effect. I didn't know that about Felix! Great storytelling!