Pyramiden was abandoned in 1998. The town’s population, then somewhere around 300 people, was given four months to leave, and they left behind everything non-essential. Walking through those buildings, it felt as if some vague poisonous gas had swept through and killed everyone in a matter of minutes. There were signs of life everywhere—trays still on tables, rolls of film in the projection booth, musical instruments strewn about—alongside the inescapable fact of decay and abandonment. In the gymnasiums lay sports equipment that would never again be used, books that would never again be read. The world’s northernmost swimming pool is now empty; the world’s northernmost grand piano now badly out of tune. The triumphant gaze of Soviet monuments now look out over nothing but emptiness. The rise and fall of Pyramiden, a Russian mining town located in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
We tend to think now of scurvy as mainly a punch line, if anything—“scurvy-ridden rats” is the kind of popular pirate epithet that appears in even the most G-rated family fare. Partly this is because now, fully understanding its mechanism, it seems a particularly ridiculous problem. But ask anyone who's suffered from it: it is a singularly horrid and terrible way to die.- The Spoil of Mariners, Colin Dickey, Lapham's Quarterly.
Time-lapse photography from above the polar circles • Antarctic: [ Following the sun around the horizon - Lunar Time Lapse (with a great aurora) - Aurora Australis - Scenes from around McMurdo and Scott bases - A day in the life outside the window at a McMurdo lab ] • Arctic: [ Bering Sea icebreaker ramming through pack ice - Icebreaker navigating through brash ice and swells at night - Same, at regular speed, in daytime - Sunrise in Greenland - Midnight sun from Grøtavær, Troms, Norway - Solar Eclipse from the Polish Station at Svalbard - Arctic sea ice, 1978-2009 - James Balog's TED talk about time-lapse proof of Alaskan glacial loss ]
With global warming trends melting permafrost throughout the arctic circle, we may be seeing more and more of this phenomenon: Drunken Forests. An artist responds.