Snowhenge the First, Antarctica


photo by David Mantripp, with permission

And here it is, folks, as we roll into winter solstice, our first henge from Antarctica. Not the only one mind you–it seems that all that time down there without TV, stuck in a building with a small group of people in the midst of a monotonous landscape, possibly with an excess of banjo music (that last is just a hunch!) takes people to that unique point on the psychological landscape where building a henge seems either like the logical thing or the most hilarious thing to do. And there they are with all that snow to work with . . .

In this case, the man behind the camera even took the name Snowhenge and  has a website, recently refurbished, at , which includes this delightful and touching bit of henge explication:

Snowhenge is, or was, an artefact built in January 1992 on the Filchner Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Its architects were myself, Jeff Ridley, and Peter Webb. It doesn’t have a deep and meaningful reason, but it goes to show that there isn’t much on TV in Antarctica. It was used in an experimental effort to invoke Druidic powers to refill a sadly depleted bottle of Bushmill’s best Irish Whiskey, but this ended in tragic failure.

We wish it had worked. What a coup for henge building! Maybe it was a design flaw. If any of you perfect the technique, please write. As for score, well, it’s a new continent for Clonehenge, quite far away. The thought that a wild penguin could wander through one of those trilithons gives us chills! Plus we’re a sucker for a good henge story  and, heck, we can see the Bushmills in the picture to illustrate it . . . so 8½ druids for the henge from where December days are long. Happy solstice, everyone!