In the Antarctic, Scientific Freezers Like This Don't Need Refrigeration

By Jamie Condliffe on at

This eerie picture shows an Antarctic research station which is used to store, of all things, snow samples. But with temperatures regularly dropping below –70°C, there’s no need for refrigeration.

Part of the Franco–Italian Concordia research station, this storage unit sits close the pole and 3,200 meters above sea level. That makes the air dry, oxygen-poor and incredibly cold. Oh, and the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon during the winter (which is currently the case, given it’s in the Southern hemisphere). Scientists such as the European Space Agency’s medical doctor Beth Healey work there in rotation; she, for instance, is currently spending nine months there. The light trail in this image is from a headlamp that used while scientists Giampietro Casasanta collected samples from storage. [ESA]