Here's Where the South Pole is...This Year

Chris Higgins
YouTube // Sixty Symbols
YouTube // Sixty Symbols / YouTube // Sixty Symbols

The Antarctic ice moves, meaning that the actual geographic "South Pole" point on top of the ice moves constantly. Every year, a team at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station places a new marker on what is (more or less) the current location of the pole. Of course, it's actually only accurate for about a day, as the drift rate is roughly 10 meters per year. The cool thing is, this tradition has been going on for decades, and every year a new design is created by the team who stayed over the winter prior.

In this video, astrophysicist Denis Barkats explains the tradition and shows us the unveiling of the 2016 South Pole marker, on the one day—January 1—when it's geographically correct. Behold:

(Note: Stick around for the end for discussion of the "Ceremonial South Pole," which is a little bland, but at least it doesn't move around.)