A unique find was discovered in the Russian Arctic National Park. This is a film with rare shots taken by polar explorers of the Ernst Krenkel Geophysical Polar Observatory in 1988. The images digitized from it tell about the life of the northernmost scientific polar station in Russia.
The film was discovered by Denis Mennikov, state inspector of the Russian Arctic National Park on Heiss Island in the summer field season of 2017. The film was in one of the station's apartment buildings, which is now abandoned and empty. Employees of the park managed to digitize the film: they found amazing archive footage on it.
An unknown photographer captured scenes from the daily life of observatory workers. The resulting photographs show the station’s working moments and family everyday sketches, children of polar explorers “caught” by the photographer reading books, as well as faithful companions of scientists - dogs.
“In the photographs we see happy people working beyond the 80th parallel north, in the middle of the Arctic, and at the same time leading the most ordinary lives of ordinary workers. It is amazing how Soviet polar explorers managed to create home comfort at the polar station located almost at the North Pole. These photos diverge with the usual stereotype of polar life as something harsh and ascetic," commented the head of the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the Russian Arctic National Park, Yevgeny Ermolov.
Ernst Krenkel Geophysical Polar Observatory (formerly Druzhnyaya) is located in the northeast part of the Heiss island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago on Cape Observatorsky. Today it continues to function: up to five polar explorers live on it year-round.