Birchwood planks at Shackleton's Hut

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Birchwood planking Shackletons Hut

Boxes that contained supplies make good building bricks for protective outer walls and even inside dividers within the huts. Low temperatures and dry conditions mean that these boxes look similar now to how they did 100 years ago. It was thought that they were protected from rotting though in recent years, fungi have been found to be growing on the wood, reducing it's weight and making it no where near as long-lasting as previously thought. Attempts are now being made to preserve the historic huts and their contents.

Photo; © Mike Usher - Pictures from an icebreaker cruise to Eastern Antarctica.