ABC correspondent Karen Barlow snapped this picture while on board the Aurora Australis in what must be the best ever journalism assignment in the history of ever.
This block of wood is positioned prominently atop an iceberg like an actor in center stage spotlight. It’s 66 degrees south, and just north of the Commonwealth Bay.
Clearly this attention seeking and motivational-poster-inspiring little log is hinting at a scientific conspiracy of some sort. Was it placed just so by aliens? Do seals like to eat from wooden place mats? Is it all that remains of a wooden legged, largely gelatinous creature who has since been sea salted and dissolved?
Possible, but I would like to propose an explanation for the mysterious block of wood.
On her Breaking the Ice blog, Karen calls the block baffling. She writes that they are very near the South Pole, and that the compass she brought on the ship has stopped working.
To quote Karen, “The south magnetic pole was positioned on the Antarctic continent 100 years ago. It has since wandered out to sea due to changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.”
Wandered out to sea? Not unlike the block of wood!
Is it possible that this seemingly innocent flotsam is, in actual fact, the true source of South in all the world? Has Karen accidentally discovered the very source of down, half originator of the equator?
Well, if ’tis the case, leave’t well alone Karen. With the International standard Kilo currently suffering an embarrassing loss of weight, now’s not time to start geographical mayhem.