Small Town In Antarctica Requires Appendix Removal For Residency

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Almost all of the ice lost from Antarctica, and half of that from Greenland, has been triggered by warming ocean water speeding the movement of glaciers toward the sea
Almost all of the ice lost from Antarctica, and half of that from Greenland, has been triggered by warming ocean water speeding the movement of glaciers toward the sea

There’s one town in Antarctica that has some strict rules for residents that are looking to move there – they have to get their appendix removed before they can settle in.

An appendectomy is just one of the requirements to live in Villas Las Estrellas – one of two civilian settlements on Antarctica – where people can reside for years versus the usual weeks or months, according to the BBC.

Villas Las Estrellas is situated in Chile’s Frei base on King George Island within an outpost that has a maximum of 100 citizens that are mostly made up of researchers and military personnel – some that live there long term and have brought their family to stay as well, the BBC said.

The town consists of a post office, school, bank, and other basic essential facilities and has an average yearly temperature of around 27.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

The appendectomy requirement makes sense, especially as the nearest hospital is 625 miles away from the northernmost tip of the island. Appendicitis requires immediate surgery to prevent a life-threatening medical emergency, and the few doctors on the base are not specialist surgeons.

The town also discourages residents from getting pregnant when they live there due to the limitations in healthcare and the possible risks, the BBC said. It also requires citizens to stay indoors during the winter months or risk freezing to death as temperatures dip below -100 degrees Fahrenheit, the Mirror reported.

Also, dogs are forbidden on the island to prevent the spread of disease to local wildlife, according to the Mirror.

But there are many benefits to living in Villas Las Estrellas as the town is plentiful of penguins, which are protected, and has plenty of opportunities for winter activities such as ski and snowmobile expeditions as well as the chance to learn about polar auroras and glaciology, Atlas Obscura reported.




Photo: AFP POOL / MARK RALSTON

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