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100 year old butter discovered in Antarctica

Last month we reported that 100-year old whiskey was discovered buried beneath a shack, belong to Ernest Shackleton, in Antarctica, and now it seems that there might be all kinds of food sitting around on the icy continent. The New Zealand Antarctic Trust says that is has found two blocks of butter in a completely different shack that was used by a completely different South Pole explorer.

The frozen butter, believed to be the oldest in the world, was discovered on Cape Evans in a stable attached to a cabin that was once used by Robert Falcon Scott. Both buildings were mostly buried beneath a century of snow and ice until a restoration team, sponsored by the Trust, recently arrived on the scene and went to work. The team was tasked with preserving the historical site and looking for artifacts whose origins could be traced back to New Zealand. Little did they know that they'd find kiwi butter left behind by the famous British explorer on his fateful 1910-12 expedition.

Examining the labels on the butter, historians found the letters "CCCDC", which they believe stands for "Canterbury Central Co-operative Dairy Company". The dairy was located in Christchurch and founded sometime in the 1890's. In that era, many Antarctic expeditions set out from New Zealand, and it was common for them to resupply with local goods before departing.

After carefully examining the two bricks, they have now been placed back where the were found inside the stable. The butter has been frozen solid for nearly a century, and the restoration team fears that if it were brought to warmer temperatures, it would soon spoil. The bricks will stay in place for another 100 years, or longer, as a reminder of an age of exploration that has long passed.

Filed under: Arts and Culture, History, Oceania, Antarctica, New Zealand

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