106-Year-Old Antarctic Fruitcake Found in ‘Excellent Condition’
A 106-year-old fruitcake that likely belonged to famous explorer Robert Falcon Scott has been found in Antarctica. Conservationists say it looks “nearly edible.”
The Antarctic Heritage Trust says the perfectly-preserved fruitcake dates back to Scott’s disastrous Terra Nova expedition, which began in 1910. It was discovered in an abandoned hut at Cape Adare which dates back to an Antarctic expedition in the late 19th century.
The cake, made by Huntley & Palmers, is still wrapped in paper and encased in its original tin. The tin has suffered significantly in the harsh Antarctic elements, however the Trust says the cake within looks and smells “(almost) edible.”
Historical records show that Scott and his companions took this exact brand of cake with them on the ill-fated expedition.
“Finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise,” Lizzie Meek of the Antarctic Heritage Trust said.
“It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favorite item on modern trips to the Ice.”
The Trust will shortly begin conservation work on the huts at Cape Adare. The buildings were the first in Antarctica and are the only examples left of humanity’s first building on any continent.
They were built and used by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink’s expedition in 1899 and used again by Captain Scott’s party in 1911.