And finally…Man sets up home on melting iceberg

An Italian adventurer has announced plans to live on an iceberg for a year in a home that will float once its ‘foundations’ melt.

This winter, Alex Bellini plans to travel to the west coast of Greenland, select an iceberg, and survive on it for an entire year in a special “survival capsule” created by American engineers.

A message on his website explains: “Clinging to that piece of drifting ice, Alex will spend up to 12 months to witness the last phase of its long life, while managing with a constantly changing environment. As the iceberg will get smaller and less stable Alex Bellini will have to adapt himself to the new situation.”

The spherical domicile Alex will use is designed to withstand disaster-intensity physical forces and is equipped with watertight doors and air supply tanks, in addition to GPS equipment that will track its location.

One of the most intriguing features of the capsule is that the entire interior can be mounted on roller balls and rotate, even if the exterior is tossed and turned.

On an iceberg, this might prove vital.

As an iceberg melts, its centre of mass can change dramatically until, in a matter of seconds, the whole thing flips over.

Mr Bellini’s plan is to place his capsule on top of an iceberg and stay there but, if the iceberg were to flip, he could quite suddenly find his capsule thrown into the air.

If the interior was on roller balls, though, this could alleviate some of the sudden movements.

Mr Bellini sounds like a pretty hardy adventurer. According to his website bio, in 2001 he ran the Marathon des Sables, a 156-mile jaunt through the Moroccan desert and mountains that’s been described as the toughest footrace on Earth. He’s also pulled a sled 1,250 miles across the Alaskan tundra, and in 2008 tried to row solo from Peru across the Pacific Ocean to Australia, a distance of 10,000 nautical miles. He came up just 65 nautical miles short, according to the Telegraph.

Bellini explains on his website that his latest challenge isn’t just a stunt but is to get people to think about the need for adaptability in the face of climate change, and to do research on factors such as sleep deprivation and endurance.

He’s been inspired by the saga of early 20th Century airship explorer Umberto Nobile, who in 1928 crashed on the Arctic ice and managed to survive for 40 days until being rescued.

Since the iceberg will be disintegrating during his stay there, he must be prepared to have his mission cut short. “I dream that it will end with me leaving the iceberg slowly and calmly after a year, but I expect it to end sooner with the iceberg flipping over,” he told Euronews.

“Whichever of the two events happens first, there will be the story of an iceberg to tell.”

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