As long as humans have known of its existence, they have wanted to visit Antarctica.
It is the world’s least visited, least populated continent. On the best day, it is extremely hard to get to. And yet, the appeal of the unknown and the desire to set foot on every continent have encouraged travelers to try and make their way to the South Pole.
Still, for the obsessive catalogers of the world, Antarctica is difficult to classify. It’s not a country, so can you cross it off a bucket list? Who controls it? If it had a capital city, where would it be? What would be the native language?
A national flag for a nation-less place
These were among the questions that Evan Townsend posed to himself when he signed up for the first of two stints working at McMurdo Station, the US-run base in Antarctica.
Townsend, an elementary school teacher in Boston, knew he had a strict baggage limit when going to Antarctica to work as a support staffer — everyone is limited to 85 pounds, he says, which has to include clothes, toiletries, medicine, electronics and anything else they might want or need during their stay.