Swimmers brave freezing ocean in Antarctica

Swimmers really cool off with dip in Antarctica

WHAT is it about the winter solstice that makes people want to jump into hypothermia-inducing water?

A handful of expeditioners living at Davis Station in Antarctica plunged to a new low - temperature that is - when they literally broke the ice on the frostiest of swims.

Marking the shortest day of the year, the expeditioners, adhering to polar tradition, cut into the ice, stripped off and jumped into the minus-two degree Celsius ocean.

"The swim was amazing!" an expeditioner with the Australian Antarctic Division said.

"There is the briefest of briefest moments where you slightly feel warm and then you work out your freezing instead."

But staying submerged in the water may be preferred to getting back out with a wind chill of -36 degrees waiting for the swimmers.

However, at least there were towels waiting for the expeditioners.

Over a thousand nude swimmers braved the chilly waters off Sandy Bay in Hobart yesterday to mark the winter solstice as one of the final events for Dark Mofo.

Unlike the expeditioners, the swimmers faced a relative warm four-degrees water temperature for their morning skinny dip.

But hopes for a warm embrace from the chill water was quickly dashed with a towels in short supply on the beach.

It was reported that organisers had been caught out by the level of interest and had underestimated the number of people who would want to strip down and freeze up!

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