The Icy Village Where You Must Remove Your Appendix
Imagine that you had to remove your appendix to live in your hometown – and your family had to do the same.
That’s the only option for long-term residents – even the children – of Villas Las Estrellas, one of the few settlements in Antarctica where some people live for years rather than weeks or months.
Appendix removal is a necessary precaution for the handful of people who stay longer-term because the nearest major hospital is more than 1,000km (625 miles) away, past the tip of King George Island and on the other side of the Southern Ocean’s icy swell. There are only a few doctors on base, and none are specialist surgeons.
While the settlement of around 100 people is mostly populated by a rotation of scientists and personnel from Chile's air force or navy, those on longer-term stints with the military often bring their families.
That means there’s a post office, a small school, a bank and other basic facilities. What’s life like there for residents? In 2018, BBC Future visited to find out.
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