Skip to navigationSkip to content

1,500 applied for that penguin post office job in Antarctica

UK Antarctic Heritage Trust
Skills required: “dodging penguins.”
By Hanna Kozlowska
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Turns out that there are plenty of people who want to spend five months in the bitter cold, sleeping little, isolated from the world, and are “happy not to shower for up to a month, live in close proximity to three people and 2,000 smelly penguins.”

In the two weeks since February 16,  1,500 people have applied for four positions—that’s 375 applicants per spot—to be an assistant at the southernmost post office in the world in Port Lockroy, Antarctica. In 2014, the total number of applicants was a whopping 82. Inquiries skyrocketed after a documentary about the outpost aired on the BBC and PBS, according to the organization that runs it, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

In addition to the cold and stinky conditions, the job is not an easy one. The assistants have to run the base’s museum and shop, monitor the 2,000 gentoo penguins that hang around, assist the 18,000 visitors to the island and handle the 70,000 letters that tourists post for that Antarctica postmark.

Yes, that’s right, even in the digital age, people still love quirky postmarks. Other popular addresses include Bethlehem, Connecticut, which processes 200,000 additional pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and December 26, and Bridal Veil, Oregon, an abandoned town that handles 150,000 envelopes for wedding invitations or “save-the-dates” between March and August.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.