Hundreds of people around the world are applying for a coveted job to run the world’s most remote post office. The position is in Antarctica and one of the key specifications is the ability to count penguins.
Four candidates will be chosen to fill the five-month role at Port Lockroy – affectionately dubbed the “Penguin Post Office”. The nearly-80-year-old building is on British-owned Goudier Island, which is about the size of a football field and is populated by hundreds of penguins.
The post office doubles as a museum and is managed by the U.K. Antarctic Heritage Trust. Each year, the British charity hires four postmasters to live on the island from November to March.
Although employees each have unique roles, they are collectively responsible for maintaining the historic site and catering to the thousands of tourists who come by boat during the season. The staff is also in charge of wildlife monitoring — which includes tallying penguins — and environmental data collection.
Applicants are warned it’s not a glamorous job. Employees must live without running water, Internet or cellphone service for five months. The team resides together in a small lodge, where they sleep in bunk beds and share a single bathroom and camping toilet. Visiting ships will offer showers when they stop by.
“Living there is quite hard work,” explained Camilla Nichol, the chief executive of the trust. “You might be working 12-hour days. There’s not much time for rest and relaxation.”