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Scott expedition cake discovered in Antarctica


Posted on Friday, 11 August, 2017 | Comment icon 10 comments

Scott's ship, the Terra Nova. Image Credit: Herbert Ponting
The remarkably well-preserved fruitcake was left behind by Captain Scott's ill-fated expedition.
When Robert Falcon Scott set sail for Antarctica on June 15th, 1910 aboard his ship, the Terra Nova, his primary objective was to reach the South Pole before anyone else.

Sadly though, after a difficult journey and countless setbacks, Scott's expedition arrived at its destination only to find that a rival team from Norway had managed to get there first.

"Great God! This is an awful place," he wrote. "All the day dreams must go."

Things would go from bad to worse as, during the return trip, dwindling supplies and fierce blizzards made progress towards home impossible and things started to look increasingly bleak.

Eventually, with any hope of making it back alive long since lost, Scott and the remainder of his team succumbed to the freezing conditions and passed away sometime in March, 1912.

Now, more than 100 years after the expedition's grisly end, the Antarctic Heritage Trust has revealed the discovery of a fruitcake that Scott and his men would have taken with them on their trip.

Despite its extreme age, it has been described as "almost edible".


"Finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise," said Lizzie Meek, the Trust's programme manager for artefacts.

"It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips."

Source: Sky News | Comments (10)

Tags: Scott, Antarctica

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Chaldon on 11 August, 2017, 17:50
I first heard about Scott's expedition in the geography class at school (that was the 5th grade, if I'm not wrong). The teacher read us an excerpt from the Scott's diary, and I clearly remember how the tragedy of the expedition shocked me. There was something so strangely beautiful in their failure, in that desperate and tragic attempt to come home. It's probably then I understood that winning is not everything, but leaving a trace in human hearts is much more important.
Comment icon #2 Posted by seanjo on 12 August, 2017, 0:15
That was wonderful, thank you.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Harte on 12 August, 2017, 1:21
This cake is probably much older than that. They are constantly re-gifted at Christmas. This one probably made the rounds of Scott's social acquaintances for decades before he finally succeeded in ridding himself of it by burying it under several feet of ice and snow at the most desolate place on the planet. Harte
Comment icon #4 Posted by Susanc241 on 12 August, 2017, 7:20
I suspect the cake was probably donated by Huntley and Palmer specifically for the expedition. The keeping qualities of the British fruit cake are well known. Multi- tiered wedding cakes usually had the smallest tier kept in storage to be used as the christening cake for the first child, which was not always just a year later!
Comment icon #5 Posted by seanjo on 12 August, 2017, 11:26
Must have tasted pretty awful for them to have eaten Lawrence Oates before the cake......
Comment icon #6 Posted by Ozfactor on 13 August, 2017, 0:40
I love fruit cake, I make them often and I would love to try a piece of this fruit cake, it looks delicious , I can almost smell it x
Comment icon #7 Posted by Black Monk on 13 August, 2017, 13:32
Did they not take some Kendal Mint Cake with them?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Chaldon on 13 August, 2017, 21:02
Me too.
Comment icon #9 Posted by simplybill on 13 August, 2017, 21:12
Wasn't it just last week they found a fruitcake on the Titanic that was still edible?
Comment icon #10 Posted by Black Monk on 19 August, 2017, 11:31
If it's fruitcakes you want just attend a Momentum rally.


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