A 100-year-old fruit cake has been found in the oldest building in Antarctica and those who discovered it think it looks fresh.
The cake is believed to date to Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition between 1910 and 1913.
Although the tin containing the cake was rusted and falling apart, the cake inside “looked and smelt (almost) edible” according to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
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Lizzie Meek, the programme manager for artefacts at the Trust, said: “With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise.
“It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice.”
The cake and its tin have been taken to New Zealand’s Canterbury Museum laboratory, where the Trust’s staff are working on conserving almost 1,500 artefacts.
Scott’s expedition had a number of objectives, but reaching the pole was key – and although they ultimately succeeded they found that the Norwegians had beaten them to it.
Tragically the entire party died on the return journey from the pole.
North Korea has warned the US would take a “dangerous and big step” towards nuclear war if it enforces a naval blockade.
It said it would take “merciless self-defensive” measures.
North Korea state media said the Trump administration was “pursuing a policy of military confrontation but this is nothing but a death-bed struggle by those alarmed by the might of the DPRK always emerging victorious”.
“Should the United States and its followers try to enforce the naval blockade against our country, we will see it as an act of war and respond with merciless self-defensive counter-measures as we have warned repeatedly,” said KCNA, citing a foreign ministry spokesman.
Although a blockade to enforce trade sanctions is not believed to be imminent, after North Korea’s November rocket test US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was a possibility.
White House National Security adviser HR McMaster said in September however, that even ‘non-strike’ options carried the risk of military escalation.
North Korea’s latest threat comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping – during a visit by South Korea’s leader – said war must not be allowed to break out.
“The peninsula issue must, in the end, be resolved via dialogue and consultation,” he said.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the presidents had agreed to cooperate in applying sanctions and pressure on the North.
UN chief Antonio Guterres also said on Thursday that it was vital Security Council resolutions on North Korea were fully implemented by all countries.
“The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war,” Mr Guterres said during a visit to Tokyo to meet Japan’s PM.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un continues to defy the international community with regular missile tests and threats of nuclear strikes against the US mainland if provoked.
The latest test – of a long-range Hwasong-15 rocket – was last month.
:: Top North Korean officials ‘punished for taking bribes’
Despite President Trump’s bombastic language and counter-threats, Mr Tillerson recently offered direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin – speaking at his annual news conference on Thursday – said a pre-emptive US strike against North Korea would be “catastrophic” and called Mr Tillerson’s offer a “realistic” approach.
More from North Korea
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How to survive a nuclear attack: State-run Chinese newspaper offers tips
‘Everything made of metal has gone’ from Japanese island visited by North Koreans
The UK maintains that economic pressure is the best way to deal with North Korea.
Speaking at a news conference, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “We don’t want to see a military solution… we want to see an intensified diplomatic effort.”
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