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A Cool Place To Work!

Four women just got jobs working in Antarctica, which is the coldest place in the world.

A group of penguins sit or lie around a British flag on an icy landscape with a small building and a mountain in the background.

© Michael Nolan/robertharding/Getty Images

There aren’t a lot of people at Port Lockroy. But there are a lot of penguins!

What is it like to live in Antarctica? Four people are about to find out! Clare Ballantyne, Mairi Hilton, Natalie Corbett, and Lucy Bruzzone will spend the next five months working on the cold, remote continent. 

The women will work at Port Lockroy, a part of Antarctica that is controlled by the United Kingdom (U.K.). Their jobs will last through Antarctica’s summer, which is between November and March. 

Hilton, who is a scientist, will be the wildlife monitor. Her job will be to count the area’s population of gentoo penguins and look out for the penguins’ nests and hatchlings (babies). 

Ballantyne will work as the postmaster. She will run Port Lockroy’s post office, which has been nicknamed the “penguin post office.” 

Corbett will manage the gift shop, which is in the same building as the post office. 

Bruzzone will be the base leader. She will be in charge of the group, and she’ll also manage the arrival of the ships that bring summer visitors to Port Lockroy.

A rocky landscape with three buildings, people, and penguins and a body of water in the foreground.

© suraark—Moment Open/Getty Images

Port Lockroy has only a few buildings.

Like the rest of Antarctica, Port Lockroy has no permanent residents because it is so cold. Most of the people who spend time in Antarctica are researchers and tourists (travelers). Others, like Hilton, Ballantyne, Corbett, and Bruzzone, take temporary jobs there.

Living on Antarctica isn’t easy, even for just a few months. Port Lockroy is one of the warmer parts of the continent, but its summers are cold by any measure. High temperatures are usually around 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1.7 to 4.4 degrees Celsius)—and the wind makes the air feel colder. There’s no service to allow for Internet or cell phone use. (There is a “satellite phone,” but it’s very expensive to use.) Port Lockroy has no running water, either, which means no flushing toilets. The workers will be able to take showers only on visiting ships. 

But the workers are looking forward to the adventure. After all, not many people can say they’ve been to Antarctica!

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Fun Fact

A diagram shows Earth’s orbit and the way the Sun’s light hits the poles and different times of the year.

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

In the winter, the South Pole is tilted away from the Sun. In the summer, the South Pole is tilted toward the Sun.

At Port Lockroy, summer days can last almost 22 hours! That’s because Antarctica is on the part of the planet that’s tilted toward the Sun during the summer. 

During the winter, Antarctica’s part of the planet is tilted away from the Sun, and Port Lockroy gets only about four hours of daylight. 

Closer to the South Pole, the Sun never sets in the summer and never rises in the winter!

Penguin Party!

Thousands of gentoo penguins live around Port Lockroy during the summer months. These birds can’t fly, but they sure can swim—very fast. And gentoo penguins can dive as deep as 650 feet (200 meters) under the water to hunt for fish and other marine life. 

The penguins don’t seem to mind all the humans who visit Port Lockroy. In fact, they seem to like having their pictures taken!

Check out the slideshow to see some pretty penguin poses.

© Andrew Peacock—Stone/Getty Images; © Karen Foley/; © FatCamera—iStock/Getty Images Plus

Land of Ice

Three black and white photos of Antarctic explorers with penguin heads superimposed and a map of Antarctica in the background.

© Sergey Kamshylin/, © Robyn Mackenzie/, Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (LC-USZ62-42183, LC-USZ62-5993, LC-USZ62-42184); Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Antarctica is a very cold place for people to visit. Penguins don’t think it’s that cold at all!

Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth. If you were to travel across Antarctica, you would notice that it got colder as you got closer to the South Pole. During the winter, the average temperature at the South Pole is about –70 degrees Fahrenheit (–56.7 degrees Celsius)!

Learn more at Britannica School!

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Word of the Day


Part of speech:



: very cold

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Let’s take a trip to the South Pole! How many words can you find?


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