How public could explore Antarctica's Scott's Hut in virtual reality thanks to Kiwi ingenuity

It's one of the most remote and remarkable locations on Earth that most of us will never get to see.

But Scott's Hut in Antarctica will soon be opening its doors to the world thanks to some state-of-the-art technology and a dash of Kiwi ingenuity.

Welcome to Scott's Hut. It's 112 years old and still has all the original features intact - including the odour.

"The smell is blubber oil, or seal blubber oil," said Antarctic Heritage Trust carpenter Zack Bennett.

The sights - and smells - of a very different life lived a very long time ago.

"It was a remarkable resource for them," Bennett said. "This helped with warding off scurvy - with the high vitamin C content."

Bennett is a carpenter by trade, and he's now charged with looking after this place.

"I find it really moving," he told Newshub. "They spent so much time in here, this was a refuge."

Inside the hut.
Inside the hut. Photo credit: Newshub

Captain Robert Falcon Scott, along with 25 men, were based here in the winter of 1911.

They took off on an expedition to the South Pole but never returned. The evidence of that inspiring life still exists today like a frozen time capsule.

Captain Scott's bed remains unmade - there's even a dead penguin on the table.

"It's an emperor penguin, it'd be 110 years old," Bennett said.

The hut has been preserved exactly how Scott and his team left it - dead penguins and all.
The hut has been preserved exactly how Scott and his team left it - dead penguins and all. Photo credit: Newshub

And then there's the famous wardroom table.

"There's a wonderful photo, where Scott's having his birthday and all the men are sitting around and they've got all the flags around the table," Bennett said.

Scott's Hutt is a symbol of how humans can push themselves to the extreme in order to explore. Now, technology is taking all of their adventure back out into the world.

A team is using LiDAR (light direction and ranging) to scan, gather data, and map the room and its contents to create a virtual reality (VR) experience.

"And the hope with that is we can share this place with the world," Bennett said.

"So few people get to see this and, you know, celebrate the legacy of the early explorers."

The Antarctic Heritage Trust has already made a 3D VR experience of Hillary's Hut at Scott Base.

This next project should be complete within a few years - then anyone anywhere in the world will be able to take a look at the past.