Antarctica: Bizarre nudist subculture

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A hardy American expeditioner prepares for a nudie run at the South Pole.

MEGAN McNAUGHT

June 24, 2010 12:01am

A BIZARRE nudist subculture has taken shape on the inhospitable, snowswept plains of Antarctica.

Visitors of all nationalities defy an average temperature of -50C and take part in variations of the traditional nudie run, independent scholar and author Chris Cormick revealed yesterday.

Dr Cormick spoke about the trend to the Antarctic Visions: Cultural Perspectives on the Southern Continent conference put on by the University of Tasmania this week. He said Australians based at all three stations, Davis, Casey and Mawson, take part in the traditional “Bliz Run”, which obliges the loser of any bet or dare to strip off and run a lap of the accommodation block.

“It’s only about 100m, but even 10m would seem like a long run in the conditions,” Dr Cormick said.

New Zealanders at their summer station go skinny dipping in Lake Vanda, with a plunge in the chilly water earning membership of the Royal Lake Vanda Swim Club. The group is rumoured to include former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark, who gained membership before she was elected. Americans at the Amundsen-Scott base can regularly be seen emerging from the sauna to run a naked lap of the South Pole. The deed earns membership of the 300 Club, but only if it’s done when temperatures have plunged to below -100F.

“The idea is to run from the 200F sauna, outside, so they go through 300 degrees (F) in seconds,” Dr Cormick said.

He said he felt compelled to speak because although the practice was widely participated in, it was not officially recorded.

“Historians, authors and researchers depend on official records, but just because it isn’t in the official records doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” Dr Cormick said. He visited Antarctica on an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship in 2008, but declined to reveal whether he participated in a Bliz Run himself.

“There is also a strong culture of what happens on the ice stays on the ice,” he said.

Original article here

2 Responses to “Antarctica: Bizarre nudist subculture”

  1. Antarctica: Bizarre nudist subculture | Not Quiet Says:

    […] Antarctica: Bizarre nudist subculture « Polnytt This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink. ← Ajay Devgn's bizarre phobia […]

  2. Ken Faint Says:

    Is the membership list posted online anywhere? I signed the book in 1981 and have never been able to find it anywhere.

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