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Food or art? Meals frozen in time make light of dangerous, daily life in icy Antarctica
Dishing up gourmet eats can be a breeze for some. To spice things up a bit, French scientist Cyprien Verseux took the culinary arts outdoors to amaze and educate by cooking – or trying to – in -60 degrees C Antarctic temperatures.
The French leader of Antarctica’s Concordia Station and astrobiologist shared the silly snaps on Twitter to show what happens to food when exposed to extreme, sub-freezing temperatures. “I had no idea that having lunch on the roof was not a good idea,” he mused, sharing an image of a fork frozen in midair above a bowl of spaghetti.
Verseux also tried his hand at swiss raclette, nutella, and even scrambled egg atop the roof of the Concordia Station – and all have frozen in mesmerising poses, making for stunning photos.
Spoiler alert: turns out with the absence of heat, scrambled eggs get pretty avant garde.
The photo series, taken over the last ten days, have been liked thousands of times by science-loving Twitter users. According to Verseux, it’s not just food that freezes instantly. “Exposed skin can freeze in seconds,” he told one Twitter user after revealing that his crews were living in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit)… which he claims feels “warm” after winter. “We are well equipped,” he added, reassuring netizens that his crew can handle the frozen temperatures outside.
Some users are now calling for video footage to show just how quickly things can freeze in sub-zero temperatures. “Thanks Cyprien for sharing these incredible moments and out of the norm! (and also to share life in the @ ConcordiaStation ). Would it be possible to publish short videos as well?” one user asked in French, with another adding “I request a video!”
Cyprien Verseux is no stranger to extreme temperatures, isolation, or experiments – the French scientist has worked with NASA and the Mars Society and spent a year living on ‘Mars’ for an experiment called HI-SEAS IV. Verseux and five other scientists lived in a dome, simulating what life would be like for humans on Mars.
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