Villas Las Estrellas The Icy Settlement Where You Must Remove Your Appendix

Grace Higgins | November 24th, 2020

Far in the north, or the south, depending on your perspective there is a little settlement in Antarctica. This little icy village is called Villas Las Estrellas, it actually has a small school, a post office, and a huddle of housing. But it’s a hard place to live and anyone deciding to stay long term has to agree to tough rules. Perhaps the strangest law is that families must all have surgery to remove their appendix before moving in.

It’s one of the only settlements in Antarctica where people live for years, instead of just a couple of months a year. And the removal of your appendix is seen as a basic necessity for living there. Because the closest hospital is over 1,000 km away, past the tip of King George Island. And you would only be able to get there if the weather allowed it. Of course, there are some doctors on the settlement, but none of them are specialized surgeons. Which means any serious injury or sickness can quickly go terribly wrong.

In total there are only around 100 people in the village, mostly specialized scientists and personnel from Chile’s air force or navy. For personnel who get sent there for long stints, they often the choice to take their families with them. So there are basic facilities on site, but it’s a harsh terrain and living in the extreme cold. During the winter, it’s impossible to go outside as the temperatures are usually -47C (-52F).

Even getting pregnant is highly discouraged, given the risks it would bring. That being said, some of the children living there enjoy the settlement very much. For example, penguins walk around the village quite freely with no fear. Because penguins have never been hunted by humans they’re not usually afraid. As a result, many of the families see living in Villas Las Estrellas as if they were in the Pixar film Happy Feet. But really, living in Villas Las Estrellas is as close to living on another planet as you can ever get.

Next Article
  • Crooked Teeth Are A Modern Phenomenon

    When you think about cavemen you probably think about clubs, caves, and running away from dinosaurs. So having time for dental hygiene would not have been a top priority. However, research shows that ancient humans had much better teeth than today. Crooked and ill-aligned teeth are a completely modern phenomenon. In 1998, a survey showed...

    Read More
  • The Crypt Of Civilization

    An airtight chamber that was built sometime between 1937 and 1940 is found in Georgia, by the Oglethorpe University. It’s called the Crypt of Civilization and is not planned to be opened until AD 8113. The container is filled with many artifacts and sound recordings from early 20th-century life. The idea was to build something...

    Read More
  • Swedish Man Who Tried To Build A Nuclear Reactor In His Home

    One Swedish man tried for months to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, and he would probably have never stopped. Richard Handl was curious if he could split an atom at home. Police finally shut down his home research center after he made a call to the radiation authorities to ask if what he...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Stock Market Hackers Of 1834

    A little-known tale of one of the first times cyber crime happened on the stock market is the tale of the Blanc brothers. What’s even more amazing is it happened in 1834 when there was no internet or computers. But since 1794, France had its national telecommunication lines and network called the semaphore telegraph. It...

    Read More
  • Elderly Tenant Received Over $17 Million To Move Out

    A reclusive man who had lived alone for over 30 years was paid an estimated $17 million to move out of a rent-controlled apartment in New York. By far the most expensive payment ever made to relocate a tenant. Apparently, the man’s apartment was extremely damp, very cluttered, and cramp, but still, he refused to...

    Read More
  • King Tut’s Incredible Rare And Valuable Meteoric Dagger

    Buried with the Egyptian king Tutankhamen during the 14th century B.C., it's thought that this iron dagger would have been worth more than gold at the time. The reasoning being that during this age iron smelting was incredibly rare, which means this dagger is a one of a kind. What makes it even rarer is...

    Read More
  • In Russia Cows Are Wearing VR Headsets To Produce More Milk

    You may have seen the photos flying around social media of cows wearing VR headsets. And no they’re not actually fake. These Russian farmers have been putting VR headsets on their cows. Apparently, it can lead to a much higher yield of milk and more money for the farmers. Of course, commenters quickly asserted that...

    Read More
  • Kolkata to London Used To Be The World’s Longest Bus Route

    Back in the 1960s, there used to be a bus running from Kolkata, known as Calcutta back then, all the way to London. That means it drove from India to the United Kingdom. It was a trip known as Albert Tours, as the double-decker bus was colloquially referred to as Albert. It was for a...

    Read More