Antoinette and Josiah, who work together at the base but have different jobs (Toni works in logistics and waste and Joe is a physician assistant), began posting their TikToks a few weeks ago, and they were overwhelmed by the millions of views they both received on their videos.
They're both part of the winter crew, which is a smaller group than the one there in the summer and stays at the Base from mid-February to October/November with no way to leave (they also can't receive mail or packages in this time).
People have been super fascinated by the different elements of the base — especially what it's actually like to live in such an isolated, freezing place. Since it's now winter, it's dark 24/7 and will be for about half the year.
The winter average temperature for the South Pole is about -76 degrees Farhenheit, though wind chill makes it feel even colder. Below, you can see Toni and Joe doing an experiment where they throw boiling water into the air and it turns to snow.
The base itself is pretty modern and has a weight room, an arts and crafts room, a gym, a music/recreation room, a movie room (Joe says they're currently watching the show Dark for Sci-Fi Sundays), and a greenhouse.
Toni and Joe work six days a week (though Joe is on call 24/7 for emergencies), which may seem like a lot, but Toni says there's plenty of time to relax. A lot of this time is spent in the galley, though Antoinette mentioned her favorite place in the base is the Dog Wall, where people put up pictures of their pets.
They don't go outside often, as the land is basically just an icy plateau — Toni shovels snow from emergency exits and grabs supplies and occasionally steps out to cool down after a sauna session, and Joe only goes outside to check medical equipment, take pictures of the Aurora Australis, or escort scientists to the "Dark Sector."
The two live in tiny dorms that residents can decorate as they wish — Antoinette opted for a bunch of tapestries that she says are lying around the base, while Joe's room is pretty simple.
Given the college dorm-like feel, we asked Toni and Joe if relationships form on the base.
The two are able to go on the internet, including social media (hence the TikToks), and can even call their families, but internet is only available for 6–9 hours a day, and they don't have the bandwidth for any type of streaming.
As for how COVID has affected the base, both Joe and Toni talked about the extensive testing and quarantining that happened prior to their arrival. However, now that all are isolated, they're able to interact maskless and without social distancing.
If you think this all sounds awesome and you'd like to live at the South Pole, you can apply at leidos.com/antarctica. All sorts of roles need to be filled, including doctors, electricians, plumbers, dishwashers, chefs, scientists, and more.
What do you think? Could you live at the South Pole all winter? Let us know in the comments!
Correction: A previous version of this post used outdated photos for the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
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