After 106 years in Antarctica, fruitcake still looks ‘like new’

It’s a good thing scientists weren’t especially hungry when they stepped inside one of the earliest structures built in Antarctica lately. On a shelf in a shack in Cape Adare sat a “perfectly preserved” fruitcake apparently untouched for more than a century, reports Stuff.co.nz. Constructed by British label Huntley& Palmers, the fruitcake was hidden inside a “severely corroded” tin taken from the shanty as part of a conservation project encompassing several old shanties built during a Norwegian expedition in 1899, per AAP. And though its newspaper had begun to deteriorate, the cake itself seemed “like new” and instead tasty. Unfortunately, it didn’t smell quite as good, with an odor of “rancid butter, ” Lizzie Meek of New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust tells Newshub.

The fruitcake was actually one of 1,500 artifacts recovered from the shacks. And it wasn’t the only food item. There were also “badly deteriorated” meat and fish, sardines, and “rather nice looking” jams, in addition to tools and attire, Meek says. The fruitcake, howeverbelieved to have been carried to Cape Adare by a member of Robert Falcon Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition in 1911 was “quite a surprise, ” Meek says. “Most people don’t carry a whole fruitcake to Antarctica and not eat it.” Though it’s not recommended, you could theoretically savor it if you ever visit Antarctica: Meek tells all items discovered will be returned to the shanties. She adds the fruitcake “could very well last another hundred years, ” if icy conditions continue.( So maybe not .)

This article originally appeared on Newser .

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