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Explorer's Food Cache Discovered in Antarctica

Friday, September 25, 2020

SYOWA STATION, ANTARCTICA—The Asahi Shimbun reports that Japanese researchers have found fragments of a cardboard box and a cache of emergency food dated to 1965 about five miles from Japan’s Syowa Station in Antarctica. The ration included a can of Coca-Cola, chewing gum, and a can of stewed beef and vegetables. Susumu Kokubun, a member of the 1965 expedition of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, said his team leader, Masayoshi Murayama, traveled to the area near Mukai Rocks, where the food was found, in January 1966 in a helicopter that had been loaded on their icebreaker, The Fuji. “He may have left the food on that occasion,” Kokubun said. An official from the Coca-Cola Company in Japan said this particular Coca-Cola can design was the first one introduced to Japan, and was available for only one or two years. It is labeled in katakana and had to be opened with a can opener. The best-selling chewing gum, first released in 1960, was developed for explorers to Antarctica by the Lotte Company in a “Cool Mint” flavor fortified with vitamins and minerals. Its packaging featured a penguin design. “I feel a special connection with the discovery because I was born in 1965,” said current expedition member Noriaki Obara, who discovered the emergency rations. To read about a 106-year-old fruitcake that was found in a hut at Antarctica's Cape Adare, go to "Super Fruitcake," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2017.

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