otto Nordenskjölds forskningsstation

Shipwreck led to discovery

Suddenly, it happens. In a long-term research project, a breakthrough suddenly occurs or chance plays into the hands of the researchers. A new crucial discovery is made.

On a hill battered by biting winds stands a small hut. This humble research station was to be the salvation of polar explorer Otto Nordenskjöld and his expedition. The year was 1903, and Sweden’s first Antarctic expedition had taken an unexpected turn for the worst when their research vessel was crushed by the ice.

Their rescue ship did not reach them until two years later. As a result, the expedition was a year longer than planned, but this meant that they made some important finds. One of these was fossils proving that Antarctica once had a warmer climate. They left behind them the hut and things they no longer needed on the island.

January 2020. A new expedition travelled to the island, including researcher Gunnar Almevik from the University of Gothenburg. Their task was to ensure that this piece of cultural heritage on the world’s southernmost continent is preserved. Using VR technology and 3D scanning, they built a digital model of the research hut and its surroundings.

Researchers Dag Avango, Kati Lindström, Gunnar Almevik and Jonathan Westin at the research station.