Talk:South Pole

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There have been seven expeditions to arrive at the South Pole by surface transportation led by (in order) Amundsen, Scott, Hillary, Fuchs, Havola, Crary, Fiennes.

There surely must have been many, many more than this. Walking to the South Pole has almost become a pastime these days. -- Egil 21:08 May 5, 2003 (UTC)

Should we rearrange the South Pole articles in the same manner as the North Pole articles? Those are split into three: Geographic, Magnetic, Geomagnetic. -Smack 19:22, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

A pointless division of the North Pole content IMHO. The separate articles are rather short, and most of the links to the separated articles are to each other, so the separation apparently isn't even serving the purpose of letting other articles link only to directly relevant material. Stan 19:53, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The Robert Schumann reference should be restored; it's a bit of trivia, the sort of thing that Scientists sniff at, but that everybody else really enjoys and values WP for including. Who's the oldest to have visited? Stan 04:38, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

I have removed the reference to Roald Amundsen being first at the South Magnetic Pole for the simple reason that nearly every reputable reference points to the Shackleton expedition. Care is needed in referencing, see 'Nimrod' by Beau Riffenburgh for example. Copyright, Beau Riffenburgh 2004. Publishers, Bloomsbury. paulburgin 23:17, 8 March 2005 (UTC)

Common mix up with the North and the South poles[edit]

Because we use the words for "the north" and "the south" ends of a magnet. There can be some major confusion with the earth's north and south poles. For people who have studied the theory on magnetism. There is the problem here. And it is not understood by too many. Example: There is a magnetic pole at the northern end of the earth. But it is not the "north" or should I say "negative" magnetic pole end. It is the "south" end or the "positive" magnetic pole end.

It is noted that the Chinese considered the compass a south-pointing device. And it seems they may have been the first to be right. We still call it the "north pole". It is the northern pole, but not "North" magnetically.

Why is this important: If your plane crashes. And you must make yourself an "out-in-the-woods" compass. And you get it wrong. Instead of moving south, you might go north and died of freezing. We're in the twenty first Century. Let's get it right. Stop the Chinese from all that laugher. By: Bio-molecular-Tony

Forum: Magnetic North Magnetic North is one of several locations on the Earth's surface known as the "North Pole". Its definition, as the point where the geomagnetic field points vertically downwards, i.e. the dip is 90°, was proposed in 1600 by Sir William Gilbert, a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, and is still used. It should not be confused with the less frequently used Geomagnetic North Pole.

Magnetic North is the place to which all magnetic compasses point, although since the pole marked "N" on a bar magnet points north, and only opposite magnetic poles are attracted to each other, the Earth's magnetic north is actually a south magnetic pole.

Let me try to clarify this further.

The tilted dipole approximation to the Earth's magnetic field

Geomagnetic poles A first degree approximation to the geomagnetic field is a tilted dipole placed at the center of the Earth. (The field of a bar magnet is similar to that of a magnetic dipole.) The dipole is oriented so that its North pole points to the southern hemisphere and South pole to the northern hemisphere. The point where the axis of the dipole intersects the Earth's surface on the northern hemisphere is called the Geomagnetic North Pole. Respectively, the point where the axis of the dipole intersects the Earth's surface on the southern hemisphere is called the Geomagnetic South Pole. See the Figure and Bar Magnet at HyperPhysics.

Magnetic poles The point on the Earth's surface where the field is directed vertically downwards is called the North Magnetic Pole (in geomagnetism texts North Magnetic Pole is generally used instead of Magnetic North Pole). Respectively, the point where the field is directed vertically upwards is called the South Magnetic Pole. Note that the magnetic poles do not coincide with the geomagnetic ones because the field is not fully dipolar.

The confusion is understandable. However, the poles of the imaginary dipole and the poles on the surface of the Earth are different things and should not be confused. The naming convention, albeit confusing to some, is well established in literature and should remain the same in Wikipedia.

The article was somewhat confusing with regards to the Geomagnetic South Pole and the South Magnetic Pole. Thus, I edited it a bit. --Octupole 17:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Why this needs to be explained in the correct technical way[edit]

When I was studying Electronics at home. This issue put me threw hell. After reading three other books on electronic. I found the right answer. The fact that this lack of information about this is the root of all those books and web pages that are worded wrongly. Anyone studying the subject will be mislead or confused as to which book to believe. Encyclopaedias are the first place people go for conformation of information.

Let's brake the tradition of misinformation on this issue. Help those that really need to know. Help stop the writers and book publishers from repeating the same dumb old mistaken view. To be correctly educated is better then to have a thousand badly written books.

By: Bio-molecular-Tony

Magnetic pole[edit]

An anon has just corrected the discoverer (or first-to) the magnetic pole. The incorrect info seems to have been put in here: [1].

Picture of buildings at the South Pole[edit]

[2] - Please can anyone explain why this rather nice picture was removed from the article please? --Rebroad 11:29, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

It is a nice picture. I won't stop you if you want to put it back. --Billpg 12:01, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Because the image itself was deleted (not by me) due to lack of source info. You can re-upload it, but if so please put a suitable copyright tag on it. William M. Connolley 13:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC).
Well, I don't have my own copy anymore - I was under the impression that someone would notify me if there were any queries regarding source info. The picture was public domain, and I'm pretty sure I'd mentioned that when I uploaded it. --Rebroad 18:51, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility[edit]

Just a note - I think that there are confusingly different versions of this. Firstly, I think that early estimates were off - the coastline hadn't been fully surveyed. Secondly, there are differnet definitions (distance from coastline, including floating iceshelves; or distance from ice grounding line, which could be regarded as the true coastline). Both fluctuate somewhat, of course. William M. Connolley 16:25, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Fascination with The South Pole North and South[edit]

I have always tried to imagine and to comprehend in my own mind, that if you were standing precisely right in the honed down narrow center of the south pole. Would a person be able to detect that he is standing upside down. Now I realize that the size and the scale of a human being is only an insignficant and a tiny speck when compared to all of the millons of square miles of land mass down at the south pole. But if a person were standing at the center of the south pole. Even in spite of being small and the whole curvature of the earth thing. Would that person be able to feel the earth is attached to his or her feet and that he or she is standing upside down. Could that person imagine his feet pointing due north and upward. Could that person imagine their eyes looking downward south and up into the sky above their head. The whole horizontal left to right stable plane of the universe thing really confuses me here. But this has always been a fun brain teaser for me. Bernie. F. Thomas Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio, 44109-4665, 10:30 AM, June 09th 2006 (UTC)

lol, funny question but no.
The person would not feel upside down, mainly because they are not. the perception of the north pole being the top of the world and south pole being the bottom of the world are manmade ideas. It wouldn't feel any different standing at the poles from where your standing right now, apart from the cold. lol. ( 00:28, 4 August 2007 (UTC))

Having actually stood at both poles apart from the US base there is no difference. You don't get a rush of blood to the head, or a drain of blood to the feet. There is no up or down in space and the idea of up and down is man-made. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Does the Pole of Inaccessability move?[edit]

I would like to ask a question here. Since the South Geographic Pole and the South Magnetic Pole both shift their position each year, does the Pole of Inaccessability move?

  • The Pole of Inaccessibility is defined as the point furthest from the sea (regardless of whether the sea happens to be frozen or not, according to my understanding). So, this Pole will move only if the Antarctic coastline changes, which may happen very slowly over time due to geological activity or changes in sea level. Matt 23:00, 30 October 2006 (UTC).
    • Or the motion of the glaciers? --Doradus 21:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Just to clear this up: the South Geographic Pole doesn't move, the ice sheet on top of it does. Warsky (talk) 18:26, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Error on Temperature[edit]

The article states that the lowest temperature is in vostok station russia at -89.6 C. However once I clicked on the article of vostok station it states that the lowest temperature the station has had is -89.6 c. These are two different numbers, we need to get the precise temp. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC).

the south pole is part of what country?

NONE by international agreement no country has a claim to the pole and all claims to various parts of Antarctica are set aside. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:02, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

First to access Southern Pole of Inaccessibility without direct mechanical assistance[edit]

The article states that Team N2i was the first to reach the Southern pole of Inaccessibility without direct mechanical assistance in Jan 2007. But the Spanish 'Al Filo de lo Imposible' team from TVE (Spanish National TV) already achieved that on 11 Dec 2005 (a google search gives amongst other links: Both teams seem to claim to be the first, yet the Spanish team was clearly earlier. Shouldn't they be credited as being the first? Are they not mentioned just due to oversight, or is there a reason their claim is not valid? 17:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

  • This content has been moved to Pole of inaccessibility, where the Spanish achievement is now mentioned along with Tean N2i. Basically the claims to priority are all down to which "pole of inaccessibility" is being referred to, as there is no agreement about exactly where it lies. Matt 02:03, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

South Pole with American Flag[edit]

Why is there a US flag in the picture of the South Pole? Last time I checked, no one was supposed to claim it under an international agreement.

That picture should be removed and a neutral picture put in it's place. Especially when Scott was British and Amundsen was Norwegian, both nothing to do with the USA. The image should be edited immediately to remove the American flag, and in reality, the physical flag should not be there.

  • I think it depends on whether the US flag routinely flies next to the sign in the position shown. If it does then the image is an accurate depiction of fact and should remain. If necessary a neutral explanation of how this circumstance arose should be added. If the US flag doesn't routinely fly there then there would be more of a case for changing it to something neutral. However, even in that case I would not advocate removing it until a substitute has been found. Matt 22:03, 10 August 2007 (UTC).
I just had a trawl through Google Images, and although the majority of pictures show the US flag in the same position as in this article, there are one or two (such as at where a different flag is flown, suggesting that perhaps the US flag is not a permanent fixture. Or maybe the US flag normally flies, but people are allowed to temporarily replace it for special photo opportunities? I'm really not sure, and an explanation in the article would definitely be a good idea IMO. Matt 22:33, 10 August 2007 (UTC).

It might be because every country that cares to put forth the effort to explore the continent on a permanent basis has its ceremonial flag there....not just the US flag. There is a ring of flags around the pole during picture taking events. All from the countries that have permanent stations there. If someone doesnt like that their national flag is not the one in the picture, then perhaps they can convince their nation to actually put a presence and financing into gtting to the pole on a permanent basis. As of this writing, there is only one station at the South Pole...and it's 100% American funded. Please dont complain to wikipedians, complain to your respective countries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

There is a difference between the geographic south pole (marked with a sign) and the ceremonial south pole (surrounded by the flags of the signatories to the Antarctic Treaty). The picture of the geographic south pole should have no flag displayed.Butters81 (talk) 06:41, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

I have a picture of the sign without the flag (and one with it: the US flag was there the entire time I was there), as well as pictures of the actual markers placed at the pole for the 2000-2003. Alas, I cannot edit the article directly yet, so if someone would like to tell me how to contribute them, I'd be glad to. -- Warsky (talk) 18:34, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Unless it's been shown that the existing picture has been altered in some way to include a flag that isn't actually there, the image should stay. The flag is only there for ceremonial purposes (as the pole is permanently maintained by US scientists), not to stake an actual territorial claim. There's no reason to change out an honest image for a dishonest one just because the flag's placement offends one or two editors. --SchutteGod (talk) 15:56, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

What does "The pole is permanently maintained by US scientists" mean? How does a pole need to be "maintained"?? I guess the pole existed without any need of maintenance long before humankind could even think of anything as stupid-sounding as "pole maintenance". What the US maintain there is the US polar station, not the pole. As a matter of slightly irritating fact, the US flag exists there but a photo of the international territory should be as politically neutral as possible.-- (talk) 11:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

The pole has to be moved annually due to the constantly shifting ice. They hold a ceremony every year to do it. The flag can be substituted with the flags of other countries; the US flag just happened to be there when the photo was taken. To alter the photo because the flag is somehow "offensive" would be dishonest. --SchutteGod (not logged in) (talk) 18:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I need more information![edit]

I'm trying to make a article to impress my teacher! I need some of the smartes imformation like this year stuff! duh! I need 6th-13th grade work but on one subject! 0417mack (talk) 01:47, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Movement of ice sheet[edit]

The polar ice sheet is moving at a rate of roughly 10 meters per year in a direction between 37° and 40° west of grid north

I flagged this as needing clarification -- I don't know if I'm just being dim, but I don't understand what it means for an ice sheet surrounding the South Pole to be moving "in a direction between 37° and 40° west of grid north". (talk) 11:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC).

Moving parallel to the 37° longitude line most likely. Grid north would be along zero longitude. Vsmith (talk) 11:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, of course, you must be correct. I added a note explaining this "grid north". Thanks. (talk) 22:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC).


Needs some attention [3]. Both Mear and Messner seem to have semi-reliable claims to have been first, in 1986 and then in 1989. I think maybe Messner was first with a crossing of the continent. I vaguely recall the Mear had help William M. Connolley (talk) 14:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Ceremonial South Pole[edit]

Is there a reason why the ceremonial south pole is not exactly located at the point of the geographic south pole?-- (talk) 08:55, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Convenience, mainly, and tradition. The geographic South Pole moves about 10 m every year relative to the station, since the entire ice sheet is sliding along and carrying the buildings with it. Right now the geographic pole happens to be located in a convenient place, just outside one of the entrances to the elevated station. Therefore, the geographic and ceremonial poles are currently very close together. Go back, say, 30 years, and the geographic pole was some distance away. The ceremonial pole is there as an easy-to-get-to place to take photos, etc. A tradition grew up of having a red-and-white-striped pole at the ceremonial location, surrounded by flags, and a sign, US flag (occasionally others), and a special pole marker at the geographic pole. A new geographic pole marker is designed and made each year by the winter-over crew, and unveiled in a ceremony on New Year's Day. The momentum of these traditions keeps the two poles distinct, even though they're only separated by a short stroll. --Amble (talk) 13:55, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Is that why the article states that they are about 180 meters apart, while one of the pictures in the same article shows them only about 30 feet apart? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:8C3:4200:6B50:5002:A144:AFD9:DC4E (talk) 04:59, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
This useful and interesting information should be in the article itself.
And we don't need TWO pictures of the ceremonial South Pole. Kortoso (talk) 19:50, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

The "South Pole" of inaccessibility should be removed from the header image.[edit]

Hi guys,

This feature is of interest only to a specialised field of study, and it has no relevance to this article, as it is not a matter of fundamental geography. In addition, its position is debatable and not clearly defined.

InternetMeme (talk) 11:32, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I concur, in fact, I would doubt the notability of that article as well. Kortoso (talk) 19:50, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Completely Dark vs. No Sunlight at all vs. April[edit]

"During the southern (austral) winter (March–September), the South Pole receives no sunlight at all, and from May to July, between extended periods of twilight, it is completely dark (apart from moonlight)."

What's the difference between "completely dark" and "receives no sunlight at all", and what about April? Is the sky purple then?

Very good questions. Infact by the Equinoxes (around 21-22 March and 23rd September, I think) , the sun shines exactly alike on both poles. The sun reaches a few degrees above the (free) horizon due to the sun rays bending in the atmosphere. The sunset (when the middle of the sun touches the [free] horizon) occures some days after the March exquinox (at the south pole). Entirely darkness (with a cloud free sky) requieres the sun to reach 18 degrees below the horizon. This can be easily calculated with a common sine or cosine function. The total darkness doesn't start until around a 3-4 weeks later.
Typical for the pole(s) are that the sun doesn't change it's angle towards the horizon at a daily basis at all, but only as the year goes by. Around Christmas (Summer Solstice on the southern hemispere) the sun shines from an angle of approx. 23.5 degrees all day, but it moves horizontaly. Around 22.June (winter solistice at southern hemisphere) the sun is located 23.5 degrees below the horizon, also the same all day. Boeing720 (talk) 18:29, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Norwegian flag ?[edit]

Why are f.i. the American flag on picture here, but not the Norwegian ? It was after all the Norwegians (Roald Amundsen) who was the first humans here. Although article doesn't deal with who arrived there first, it would be appropriate to show an Norwegian flag at top left, I think. I'm NOT Norwegian and have only visited thet country as a 9 year old boy , in February 1974. Boeing720 (talk) 18:10, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:South Pole/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Ernest Shackleton was Irish, not British.

Gammelfleischparty (talk) 01:01, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

True, Shackleton was Irish — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:21, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Last edited at 07:23, 27 February 2013 (UTC). Substituted at 06:36, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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