Cake from 1911 found 'perfectly preserved' in Antarctica

100-year-old Antarctic fruitcake looks (almost) edible

Remarkably, researchers from New Zealand charity the Antarctic Heritage Trust said the cake looked - and even smelled - like it was still edible.

Conservators for the trust said the tin was rusted, but the cake (made by British biscuit company Huntley & Palmers) still looked and smelled edible, Lizzie Meek, the manager of the program's artefacts, said in a statement. Images of the fruitcake, as well as details about it and the restoration process, were published by the Antarctic Heritage Fund.

Conservators with the Antarctic Heritage Trust found the fruitcake among artifacts from the Terra Nova Expedition led by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott between 1910 and 1913.

The cake will now be preserved and returned to the hut once the structure itself is restored.

"Deacidification of the tin label and some physical fix to the torn paper wrapper and tin label was carried out", the Trust said.

Overall, this conservation project resulted in restoring and otherwise saving about 1500 artifacts from Cape Adare.

And although Cape Adare is often visited by touring cruise ships, Meeks said it could be another hundred years before anyone comes across the fruitcake again.

She added: 'With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise'.

The huts at Cape Adare were built by the Norwegian Carten Borchgrevink's expidition of 1899 but later used by the Northern Party.

The huts were the first buildings in Antarctica and are the only examples left of humanity's first building on any continent.

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