Australian Antarctica Team Takes Part in Freezing Mid-Winter Swim in Ice Hole

Australian Antarctica expeditioners celebrated the June 21 winter solstice by plunging into freezing cold water in a hole cut into ice.

After living without seeing the sun for weeks, the shortest day of the year “marks a turning point in the dark winter” for the team:, according to Davis Station leader David Knoff.

“At this time of year the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon for about 5 weeks, so it’s exciting to think we are halfway through the twilight period and in just a few weeks we’ll feel the warmth of the sun again,” Knoff said.

Team members descended into the hole using a ladder while attached to a rope before putting their heads under the water. Credit: Australian Antarctic Division via Storyful