The Pole Of Inaccessibility, or Полюс недоступности in Russian, was a research station in Antarctica built by the Soviet Union for their Antarctic expeditions. It was first used in 1958 for weather and meteorological research and recorded world’s lowest year-round average temperature of -58.2°C or -72°F.
The station had a hut big enough for 4 people as well as a radio hut and an electrical hut. The buildings were prefabricated units that were placed atop tractors and used as accommodation by the team on the journey. An airstrip was cleared once the hut was in place allowing Li-2 aircraft to land at the base. After only 2 weeks in service, the base was abandoned. It was thought that with the distance to the other stations so great, permanent operations would not have been feasible. It was however revisited and used for a number of expeditions afterwards.
The building is covered by snow but a bust of Vladimir Lenin remains in place identifying the spot. The research station was recently visited in 2011 by the Antarctica Legacy Crossing. Antarctica contains a number of these abandoned research bases as most areas are not suitable for permanent habitation. Scott’s Hut is one such abandoned base, however its purpose was to house the race to the pole by Robert Scott and then later for further expeditions by Ernest Shakleton.
Location: Pole Of Inaccessibility, Antarctica
Category: Research Base