Side Note

Life at Antarctica’s IceCube lab seems strange and beautiful

And also very, very cold.

Antarctica is a fascinating and terrifying place that humanity still does not fully understand. And unlike the rest of the world, we will never conquer it (unless we end up melting it). It is cold and big and just being there can very easily kill you, and for this, it feels profound.

Right now, it is dark in Antarctica, and it will not stop being dark there until August. This is a thing I think about a lot. Living there might be like living on another planet.

Because scientists have a sense of humor, there exists an Antarctic research station called the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, where scientists from all over the world gather to, as the IceCube’s website puts it, “observe the cosmos from deep within the South Pole ice.” The IceCube site adds:

Encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice, IceCube searches for nearly massless subatomic particles called neutrinos. These high-energy astronomical messengers provide information to probe the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars.

Dang. Doing astronomy from the South Pole sounds goth as fuck.

Or, considering that some IceCube scientists pass the time by playing ice golf, at least goth-adjacent.