This is a strange requirement for someone to live in a community yet people reside there.
Residents of Villa Las Estrellas, a small Chilean settlement in Antarctica, are required to do the unbelievable in order to live there long-term. They are required to remove their appendix.
In order to understand why this is so, you first need to know a few things about Villa Las Estrellas.
This place is probably the closest anyone can get to experiencing life on another planet. It’s located so far away from human civilization and weather conditions are so extreme that would-be residents must pass a very thorough psychological exam in order to prove that they can live here for a long period of time. In winter time, the whole place is buried under several meters of snow and the hours of daylight are replaced with a few minutes of twilight. The average temperature is -2.3 degrees Celsius, but they can drop to -47 in winter months, making it nearly impossible to even set foot outside the container-like houses.
Villa Las Estrellas is currently home to over 80 inhabitants, mainly members of the Chilean air force and their families, with everyone over the age of six missing their appendix. The requirement to have the potentially-problematic organ surgically removed is a precaution. Because this icy town is located on the remote King George Island, 120 km off the coast of Antarctica, with the nearest surgical hospital over 1,000 km away, removing residents’ appendix lowers the risk of an emergency evacuation.
Villa Las Estrellas actually has its own hospital, but it’s manned by a general practitioner who can’t handle emergency surgeries, and with winds here blowing with speeds of up to 200 km/h, hail and other extreme meteorological phenomena, taking off in a Hercules C-130 military plane on a gravel runway can be quite difficult.
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