In 1911, famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s team of trekkers became the first humans to reach the South Pole. They stayed for less than a week. But today, one of the most isolated spots on Earth hosts residents year-round. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station’s position at the bottom of the globe and seclusion from society enables scientists to study seismology, air quality, and even the birth of the universe in ways that are impossible elsewhere. Here’s how they withstand harsh climes to conduct some of the world’s most advanced research.