Antarctica researchers stunned after 50-year-old 'emergency note' sparks mystery

ANTARCTICA scientists were left stunned after discovering emergency supplies from an expedition dating back more than half a century ago, shining new light on the history of the frozen desert.

PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 06:01, Wed, Oct 7, 2020

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A Japanese research team found the cache of emergency goods, which included a can of Coca-Cola, chewing gum and tinned stewed beef and vegetables. The unopened items were discovered at the site known as Mukai Rocks, about five miles from Japan’s Syowa Station, along with an “emergency note”. The location was used to land in Antarctica after a voyage through the 10th Japanese Antarctic expedition.


Four members of the current 61st research expedition team made the breakthrough after travelling to the area of the frozen continent for observation research.

They spotted pieces of cardboard sticking out the snow, suggesting they arrived in a box.

Susumu Kokubun, 85, a former member of the seventh expedition, recalled that Masayoshi Murayama, who headed his team, went to a location near Mukai Rocks in January 1965 on a helicopter that was loaded on the Fuji.

He added: “He may have left the food on that occasion.” 

Antarctica researchers made a stunning findAntarctica researchers made a stunning find (Image: JARE)

Japan's Syowa Station research facilityJapan's Syowa Station research facility (Image: GETTY)

But the National Institute of Polar Research, which dispatches Japanese expeditions, said no records have been left about the food.

The discovery could be a vital piece in the puzzle of understanding Japan's exploration of Antarctica in the 20th century.

The can of Coca-Cola came with a label written in katakana and no stay-on tab opening mechanism. 

According to Coca-Cola Japan, it is the design of the company’s first canned product introduced into the Japanese market in 1965. 

The product was available in the market for only one to two years, a company official said, adding that no

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