AMUNDSEN-SCOTT RESEARCH BASE, SOUTH POLE An airstrip operates several flights per day between October and February to this United States scientific research station. During winters, the station is almost completely isolated and is inhabited by a group of around 50 people. The area is also known as the southern "pole of inaccessibility", the point of Antarctica farthest from any coastline.
The research: Until the mid-1990s, nobody knew there was a lake two miles under Antarctica’s icy Vostok Station. Now Lake Vostok is understood to hold more water than almost any other lake in the world. On Sunday, a Russian team drilled through the ice to the lake’s surface, a process that has taken more than 20 years. Read related article.