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There are a number of my friends—hard-working, hard-drinking, adventure-loving men—who would be envious of the New Zealanders who have what they’d consider the greatest job on earth: Whiskey Driller .

A team of New Zealanders is preparing to drill in Antarctica in the New Year, and they hope to strike - whisky.

Among the supplies British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton abandoned on his unsuccessful 1909 expedition to the pole were two crates of the now extinct rare old brand of McKinlay and Co whisky.

Now Whyte & Mackay, the drinks giant that owns McKinlay and Co, has asked for a sample of the drink for a series of experiments, the Telegraph newspaper reported in London.

The New Zealanders will use special drills to free the trapped crates and rescue a bottle from the crates, discarded near the Cape Royds hut used by the Nimrod expedition, or at least draw off a sample using a syringe.

The search for lost spirits isn’t limited to the whiskey on the rocks in Antarctica. As Nicola Twilley notes : “It appears the ocean floor, if treated as a single entity, might actually be the world’s largest wine cellar – a sunken treasure trove of lost vintages awaiting rediscovery. Like squirrels digging up acorns, wreck-divers and salvage companies stumble upon another forgotten cache every few years.”

But the discoveries don’t just benefit the science of oenology:

[F]or archaeologists, the alcoholic finds are a treasure trove of information, offering clues to cultural and socio-economic preferences, shipping and trade routes, and even shifts in climate and viniculture.

Not since Indiana Jones first cracked a whip has anything done more to make archaeologist seem like the coolest job in academia.

(Via: Neatorama and Kottke )

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