July 21, 1983 was a special frost, there was terribly cold,
the temperature on the planet is dropped to -89.2 ° C.
Russian Vostok Station, Antarctica is located near the southern magnetic pole,
at an altitude of about 3500 meters above sea level.
What do you think?
It is easy to live there? - Spend the winter at the polar station Vostok?
"At the station" Vostok "man does not live - he is slowly dying.
The station is known for three main properties:
It is located in the South Geomagnetic Pole to Pole of Cold
(in 1983 the temperature dropped to? 89,2 ° C),
and under the ice dome on which the station is ancient Lake Vostok.
Usually people lose 5-10 kilos for the first month in the "East".
Oxygen in the air as much as at the height of 5 kilometers in the middle latitudes.
Therefore, the first problem on arrival - reaction.
I saw the man became ill a few minutes after arrival.
If he had not been evacuated in time,
the pulmonary edema after a few days would result in death from hypoxia.
I felt good, but fast walking and lifting weights should be very careful:
once there is shortness of breath, and dark eyes.
Sharply rising from a chair, you can simply fall from dizziness.
In addition, very tired because of the apnea - stopping breathing during sleep.
In order to adapt to the conditions of continental Antarctica and start to sleep, it is necessary from a month to three.
In ordinary life around us is almost always there are some insects - mosquitoes, moths, midges.
On the "East" nothing. Even microorganisms.
But with me sometimes occurred hallucinations seemed close flew a fly or a bee.
Water in the station - from the surrounding snow.
In this water, there is no salts and minerals,
so the first time does not pass a constant feeling of thirst.
As is known, scientists have long been a well is drilled into Lake Vostok.
In January 2011, at a depth of 3540 meters,
has started another ice.
below the frozen - frozen water lake.
the water is clean and not bad taste - can safely be boiled and brewed tea.
No unknown life forms, about which some scientists warn,. I'm in the tea nothing dangerous had not noticed.
Aircraft on the "East" fly only from mid-December to early February
- At other times it is impossible, they simply can not land, runners froze to ice
Sometimes, the tractor comes with fuel reserves, from the station "Peace".
The rest of the time, no machinery, transport to get there, not able to.
If something were to happen, no one to help.
Residential building, this station is completely covered with snow and is under two meters of snow.
Daylight does not happen inside.
And you can go out through two ways - the main and reserve.
The main output - is the door, behind which the snow dug a 50-meter tunnel.
Emergency exit short and is a steep staircase to the top of the snow cover over the station building.
During the winter my work assumed daily exits
to the open air - it was necessary to rise to the surface through the emergency exit
and walk about 400 meters to a small hut that housed the main instruments and sensors.
Whenever you put on first outer clothing - down jacket,
warm trousers, woolen gloves, fur mittens, boots, mask on the face.
It was necessary to fasten it all thoroughly,
refuel and then hang the lights, backpack with a thermos, tools and a laptop.
Sometimes it was necessary to make such an expedition several times a day.
But those days have passed and faster.
One day the boss, at our station,
announced at the general meeting, that we are moving in the fuel saving mode.
The temperature inside the premises to + 15 ° C dropped to + 10 ° C.
Interestingly, this fuel economy was no use to anybody .,..
— after the end of the winter we've got extra 10 tons of diesel fuel for generators.
— But as a result, the station premises were damaged!
— In the dining room half-meter formed stalactites of ice.
— In the dishwasher, which really saves electricity, water, energy and time, torn by ice all inner hoses.
— In the room where I lived and where there was scientific equipment,
— during the two coldest months - in July and August - it was around + 5 ° C.
— In these months, the main leisure time was limited to physical education.
I made in the room, crossbar, got hold of the likeness of the bar,
set bicycle simulator - so I warmed and refuge from the cold.
In a residential building, there is a saloon, where there is a pool table,
and on the wall hangs a TV (though there is no terrestrial TV).
After the temperature dropped to minus there, long time no one to meddle.
But once the stock has detected a fault game console.
We repaired it, connect to a TV,
and mess-again people began to appear - dressed in warm jackets and trousers,
hats and boots, they were going to play a video game console, to the race and fisticuffs.
As with any other team, especially small - but we were on the station 13 people - there were conflicts.
First there were some minor affair.
Some grew into a serious argument for months.
Forming a "mugs", there was talk that Ivanov did Petrov,
and Petrov - a stupid coward - behaved not like a man, and did not hit Ivanova.
Then the conversation distorted reached Petrova,
He decided not to be more than a coward and a second time beat Ivanov.
Another type of conflict comes from the fact that the chief of the station.
He singled out their favorites
and supplied them with food and alcohol in excess of the norm.
The most unpleasant - fights, insults - began with alcohol.
Vodka is imported legally into the station and in decent quantities.
During the winter of my 200-something bottle 0.75 liters were imported.
Sometimes heavy drinking did not stop for a week,
and they participated in about a third of the composition of the winter.
All alcohol was consumed in less than six months before the end of May.
In the remaining time the service was diluted alcohol, and with the permission of the station drove brew - yeast and sugar with the addition of peas.
During the winter,
I volunteered to be a volunteer in the monthly hikes for snow polygon five kilometers north of the station.
There together with a partner we once a month measured the accumulation of snow in a specially driven into this tank
Until the polar night, everything was fine.
But it is interesting, incidentally, that when? - 58 ° C to the normal sound of exhaled air is mixed not strong hiss.
If you talk at the same temperature,
many consonants are hissing - for example,
instead of "whistle" turns "hiss".
The effect is due to the fact that the exhaled carbon dioxide at such a low temperature begins to crystallize.
And in July, the air temperature dropped to a record low for the year:? 82 ° C.
This frost - it's a beast.
Do you have time for a couple of minutes to cool down from the heat of the dwelling,
and then the frost bites in the face, knees,
in fingers and toes, biting into the flesh to the bone marrow. Do not save even the constant movement and very warm clothing.
Death at this temperature, even if you move all the time,
comes in 6-8 hours.
Without a protective mask - special stocking with holes for the eyes - it is impossible to breathe, as instantly turn white and freezes in the nose and lips.
Through the mask is also not very successful - by breathing on it formed a crust of ice consisting of frozen carbon dioxide and water vapor to breathe through that very difficult.
The easiest way: put on a mask so
from the nose to and below it is not adjoined to the face.
Air enters the bottom of the hole, is heated within the mask bit further into the lungs.
Experience has shown that the optimum temperature for the shoes? - 82 ° C - normal valenki (fur boots).
Better to valenki outsole was additionally hemmed with another layer of felt.
Plus, I put them in fur socks chuni.
And another interesting thing: when extreme cold is manifested smell,
which soaked the entire continental Antarctica.
The smell of this is barely noticeable, and usually it does not pay attention - it is so faint and inconspicuous.
But then, at? 82 ° C, I felt it. For a while, trying to find a comparison, then surrendered.
And then, when it went very cold, I suddenly realized that it was for the smell.
I would call it "vanilla caramel." SERGEY Buschmann, a geophysicist, a member of the Russian Antarctic expedition to the station "Vostok" of 2009-2011, 34 years old:
If you are interested:
Now the film, as we have changed the carrying cable at the well Vostok