Originally founded in 1947 by the British as an Antarctic expedition hub, Vernadsky Research Base has a unique attraction: the world’s southernmost bar.
This tiny, one-room social area is located among the same research facilities where scientists first discovered the hole in the ozone layer. During the station’s British ownership, some of the carpenters repurposed a shipment of wood, meant to provide the station with a new pier, and built the small bar in a close approximation of a traditional English pub. The interior contains rustic wooden beams and aging pictures of famous Antarctica explorers above the seats.
In 1996, the Ukraine purchased Vernadsky for a mere one British pound. (It would have cost a lot more to dismantle the base, so they figured, why not?) The bar, newly decorated with Cyrillic signs and tchotchkes, became a firmly Ukrainian establishment where you can drink and cavort with researchers during the off hours.
In addition to the standard libations, the bar also makes its own vodka using the surrounding glacial ice. The drink can be purchased for three dollars a glass or it is free with the donation of some womens’ undergarments to display behind the bar. Judging by the decor, there have been a number of free drinks.
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