Journey to the End of the Earth with These Digital Explorations of Antarctica - Atlas Obscura
Free iron-on Atlas Obscura badge when you preorder our new kids’ book. Shop now.

Journey to the End of the Earth with These Digital Explorations of Antarctica

article-imageCeremonial South Pole (all images via Google Street View)

You can journey to the end of the Earth without leaving your home through Google Street View’s captures of Antarctica. Sure, it’s not likely to leave you with the same thrill as first-hand polar exploration, but for those armchair travelers who want to venture to the icy expanse of the South Pole and step into the huts used by famed explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, it’s an incredible immersive view.

The project was launched back in 2010 and has expanded over the years as part of Google’s World Wonders initiative to make far-flung cultural icons into digital destinations. The Antarctica views, captured with a tripod and fisheye lens for 360 degree views of penguin rookeries and historical polar sites, were created in collaboration with the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. 

Below are some screencap highlights from wandering Antarctica through Google Street View. Click on each to launch into your own exploration. 

Ceremonial South Pole

article-image

article-image

Just a short way from the geographic South Pole (also on Street View), is the dramatic Ceremonial South Pole. A mirrored orb is situated on a striped pole, around which are 12 flags representing the 12 nations that signed the original Antarctica Treaty. 

Robert Falcon Scott’s Hut

article-image

article-image

Untouched since 1912, you can step into the wooden shelter used by Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition on Cape Evans on Ross Island. 

Ernest Shackleton’s Hut

article-image

article-image

Also on Ross Island at Cape Royds is the hut used by Ernest Shackleton with the British 1907-1909 Nimrod Expedition, which was aimed at reaching the geographic South Pole. 

Penguins of Half Moon Island

article-image

You can spin in 360 degrees to see the chinstrap penguins of Half Moon Island, who have a thriving rookery there. 

Adélie Penguin Rookery

article-image

And for even more penguins, head to the Adélie Penguin rookery, named in 1840 by French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville for his wife, Adèle.

The South Pole Telescope

article-image

article-image

Down at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is the Dark Sector Laboratory, housing a telescope able to view sub-millimeter wavelength observations

Berg Field Center

article-image

article-image

You can see how modern researchers stock up for field operations at Berg Field Center, packed with tents, sleeping bags, and other provisions.  

Crary Science Center

article-image

article-image

And finally, for a look into the past there is this Crary Science Center museum at McMurdo Station (note the taxidermy penguin), which also holds labs and offices for its researchers. 

Click here to view all of the available Antarctica locales on Google Street View. 


Polar Week is January 27 - 31, 2014 at Atlas Obscura. Follow along on Twitter (hashtag #PolarWeek), FacebookTumblrGoogle+, and Kinja