What is there to do when you’re in the world’s coldest and driest place for months on end? Well, according to Wired, scientists in Antarctica have been hitting the bottle to pass the frigid, harsh time.
Apparently, they may have been drinking a little too much. So much so, in fact, that the National Science Foundation is considering implementing breathalyzer tests to keep the scientists — who have reportedly taken part in drunken fights, exposed themselves indecently and even shown up to the job intoxicated — in line.
Philip Broughton once bartended in McMurdo Station, the largest of the U.S. bases down there. He told Wired that scientists (“beakers” as they are nicknamed) and contract workers are the two biggest, if not only, groups in Antarctica and that they often butt heads.
“The beakers have a license to kill,” Broughton said. “There is little consequence for what they do down there.”
McMurdo is home to three bars, while the South Pole, another main U.S. base, has a general store where customers can buy six-packs for $6 to $7 as well as liquor. This means two things: (a) getting wasted in your woolen long johns isn’t a feat and (b) the NSF’s breathalyzer idea just might be sound. However, as Wired reports, the devices may have trouble working and calibrating since the “South Pole Station is at an altitude of 10,000 feet, atop a high plateau.” I guess we’re left with little else to say but “Cheers, fellas!”