Coca-Cola and chewing gum finds in Antarctica | Polarjournal
The can of Coca-Cola was discovered after more than 50 years near the Showa station in Antarctica. (Photo: Yumi Nakayama)

The wintering team from Japan’s Showa Station, which conducted its missions between November 2019 and February 2021, made an extraordinary discovery. Four team members happened to find a cardboard box buried in the snow labeled “Emergency Food.” The unopened items were discovered on September 3, 2020 at the site known as Mukai Rocks. This is about 8 kilometers from the Japanese Showa station. This is the site where the 10th Japanese Antarctic Expedition landed over 50 years ago.

Lotte sold the “Cool Mint” chewing gum from 1960 onwards with the slogan “Fresh as in Antarctica. As a result, “Cool Mint” turned out to be a big seller. (Photo: Yumi Nakayama)

The overwintering team discovered packaged “Lotte Cool Mint Chewing Gum” and cans of “Coca-Cola” in September 2020. The items were brought to Antarctica by an expedition team more than half a century ago, and their rare packaging designs no longer exist. On April 15, a ceremony was held at the National Institute of Polar Research in the city of Tachikawa near Tokyo to return the goods to each manufacturer. Participants celebrated the return of the products.

Aside from Coca-Cola and chewing gum, a can of braised beef and vegetables made in February 1965 was found with a label designating it as Maritime Self-Defense Force emergency rations.

Yuichi Aoyama, head of Japan’s 61st wintering team hands over the can of Coca-Cola to a representative of Coca-Cola Japan on April 15, 2021, at the National Institute of Polar Research in Tachikawa. (National Institute of Polar Research)

After the Japanese representative of the beverage giant Coca-Cola showed the recovered can, they are considering displaying the can in the “World of Coca-Cola Museum” in Atlanta (USA). The company added that no such can that old was kept in the company.

The packaging of the discovered Cool Mint chewing gum shows penguins in Antarctica. According to Lotte, the company has been using penguins in their packaging design since they had donated gum with vitamins and minerals to the Antarctic expedition in 1956.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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