Well, not exactly cryogenically, but frozen nonetheless:
Scientists trekking across a little visited part of Antarctica have discovered a bizarre relic of the Soviet Union is dominating the South Pole of Inaccessibility.
In the middle of no-where – literally the point on Antarctica furthest from the sea – an imposing bust of revolutionary Bolshevik Vladimir Lenin peers out onto the polar emptiness.
A Norwegian-US Scientific Traverse met Lenin this week while nearly a thousand kilometres to the south another group were “moving” the South Pole – literally.
A barber’s pole marks the actual spot but the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station sits on top of a moving ice-sheet – so the Pole moves.
The Inaccessibility Pole marks the point on Antarctica that is furthest from the ocean. At 3718 metres above sea-level it is in the Australian zone and seldom visited.
The Scientific Traverse this week made it to the Inaccessibility Pole for New Year’s Day and found a one time Soviet Union base buried under the ice.
The group’s website says Soviet scientists first visited the Pole in December 1958 and built a small cabin there.
After several weeks they left, putting the bust of Lenin on top of the chimney facing Moscow.
“Today the bust is clearly visible from many kilometres away, and remains as they left it on the chimney, although the cabin itself is buried under the snow,” the explorers say.
What does this tell us about Lenin and his progeny? Is he down there waiting for a call? Or is he just lost, another pioneer who went off-course?
(HT to Jesse Walker.)