Photo: Chile Polar Research at Antarctic
The navy bases that Chile began builing in Antarctica in 1947 have evolved into facilities coveted by scientists interested in polar research.
The military bases, constructed to cement the South American country’s territorial claims in the frozen continent, in many cases now share space with scientific research stations.
The Arturo Prat naval station, located on King George Island, is the oldest of the four Chilean bases that operate year-round.
Chile also has eight summer bases and seven shelters scattered around the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
A fleet under the command of Commodore Federico Guesalaga sailed from Valparaiso in early 1947 for the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic area closest to South America.
The expedition arrived in an area of Greenwich Island that was baptized Chile Bay.
More than half a century later, Chile now uses its Antarctic bases for polar research, especially the areas of high scientific interest.