These Photos Survived 100 Years Frozen in Antarctica's Ice

| © Jay Ruzesky / Unsplash

Social Media Editor

Next time you’re not sure what to do with your leftover camera film from yesteryear, remember that a box of 100-year-old negatives were discovered in Antarctica encased in a block of ice – and they survived!

It appears that the ice, ice baby managed to save the images from the elements, which would have no doubt destroyed them otherwise. Four years ago, conservators from the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust stumbled on the pictures while working on restoring a former Antarctic exploration hut.

The images on the cellulose-nitrate negatives had never been seen until 2013, and are believed to be from Ernest Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party, who explored the icy continent between 1914–1917.

Stranded in the hut during a tremendous blizzard after their ship blew out to sea, the adventurers were ultimately rescued, but the box of negatives remained behind.

A photography conservator out of Wellington, New Zealand was able to process the negatives, which, as if frozen in time, revealed the 100-year-old story unfolding through every frame. Though they are unsurprisingly a bit damaged, the photos offer a rarely possible glimpse into exploration of the past.

According to Antarctic Heritage Trust Executive Director Nigel Watson, ‘It’s the first example that I’m aware of, of undeveloped negatives from a century ago from the Antarctic heroic era. There’s a paucity of images from that expedition.’

The photos offer the opportunity to take a closer look into the Antarctic adventures of yore and are also a reminder of the power of nature to preserve as opposed to destroy.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article