Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Each of the 86 IceCube holes contains a string of beachball-sized sensors attached to a couple miles of cable. Back when we were drilling holes, we shipped dozens of big spools of cables down every year. When it was time to feed a string of sensors into a newly drilled hole, one of those huge spools was mounted onto a big machine and the cable was slowly fed into the hole while people worked furiously to attach each sensor to the cable.

Some of those cast-off spools were turned into an art project at the edge of the berms (the warehouse district of the South Pole.) This is fondly referred to as Spoolhenge. I snapped a couple of picture while we were visiting the South Pole Traverse.

Since every vertical object eventually accumulates and is overwhelmed by the snow which blows in from the edges of the continent, and since Spoolhenge hasn't yet been buried, I can only assume that it's either officially or unofficially sanctioned as something which should be maintained year after year.

I hope it stays around for a while, because it makes me happy to see some cast-off utilitarian objects being turned into a fun piece of art at the bottom of the world!

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