Historic Huts of Antarctica

Historic Huts of Antarctica

Discovery Hut with McMurdo Station in background. Photo by Emilio Floris, WMF.

Huts  were built for expeditions from 1899 and some still stand making Antarctica the only continent where original human habitation structures remain. Of the 22 original sites, only seven huts remain intact today.  Others remain as ruins or have disappeared completely.

The huts were originally constructed as short-term structures, designed protect their inhabitants from Antarctic weather and to provide accommodation for expeditions.  The huts were furnished with extra provisions so that should there be a change of circumstances, there would be enough supplies to last the inhabitants an extra winter.  Some of these supplies still remain in the huts, and are examples of some of the oldest preserved food items in existence)

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust is one of the forerunners in conserving and maintaining the seven remaining huts and some of the ruins.

The seven remaining huts are:

• Cape Adare (1899).  British Antarctic Expedition lead by Carsten Borchgrevink.
• Hutt Point, Ross Island (1902-1903).  British National Antarctic Expedition lead by Robert Scott.
• Snow Hill Island (1902-1903).  Swedish South Polar Expedition lead by Otto Nordenskjöld.
• Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands (1905 to present).  Oficina Meteorológica Argentina lead by Otto Deibel and subsequent leaders.
• Cape Royds, Ross Island (1908).  British Antarctic Expedition lead by Ernest Shackleton.
• Cape Evans, Ross Island (1911-1912).  British Antarctic Expedition lead by Robert Scott and Edward Atkinson.
• Commonwealth Bay (1912-1913).  Australasian Antarctic Expedition lead by Douglas Mawson.