The author, Dr. Gavin Francis, arrived at Halley base on Christmas Eve 2002, at the height of the Antarctic midsummer, when 24-hour sunlight illuminates the vast swathes of empty ice. Courtesy of Gavin Francis hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Gavin Francis

Morrie Fisher drinks at Mawson Station, an Australian base in East Antarctica, in 1957. Apparently, these sorts of amusements tend to pop up when you're bored in a barren landscape. Courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division

From left: Frank Wild, Ernest Shackleton, Dr. Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams head back to base camp after getting within 97 miles of the South Pole — closer than anyone had gotten before them — in January 1909. /Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption /Getty Images