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Frozen in time

A trip to Antarctica yielded a unique opportunity for geologist Peter Flaig — a chance to see a structure built 100 years ago by British explorers.

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This audio slide show originally appeared on the Jackson School of Geosciences Web site.

In 1911, two teams of explorers — one British and one Norwegian — were in a mad competition to set the first human boots on the South Pole. The British, who had carefully and very publicly planned their expedition for years were enraged to learn en route to Antarctica that a secret, more nimble Norwegian team was also on their way and hoped to steal their rightful glory. The smallest details of the months-long struggle made front page news around the world. The world was shocked by the tragic outcome.

Today, few signs remain of their heroic race. But if you’re ever on Ross Island in Antarctica, you can still see one of the wooden huts built by the British.

University of Texas at Austin geologist Peter Flaig of the Jackson School of Geosciences saw the hut firsthand and captured it with breathtaking photography.

In this audio slide show, Flaig describes the contents and smells of the hut.