In Antarctica, Spoilers Are Punishable By Attempted Murder

Nobody likes to be unexpectedly spoiled. But surely it’s not worth stabbing someone over, right? A Russian researcher stationed in Antarctica did just that when his colleague repeatedly spoiled the endings of the books he wanted to read.

Antarctica
Shutterstock

The Loneliest Continent

Let’s set the scene. Engineer Sergey Savitsky (55) is stationed at Bellinghausen Station on King George Island along with welder Oleg Beloguzov (52). The station was built in the late 1960s and looks like nothing more than a few double-wide trailers huddled together under an unforgiving sky.

The temperature hovers around 15 degrees—relatively mild for Antarctica—but with a population of just 25 people and severely limited entertainment options, it’s no holiday to be stationed there. The two Russians have been stationed there for about 4 years…and one of them was slowly being driven mad by the other.

Sounds like the plot of a horror movie, doesn’t it?

The Last Straw

On October 9, Sergey finally snapped. What was the last straw? It turns out that Oleg amused himself by telling Sergey the ending of every book the engineer tried to read. Sergey was “fed up with the mean telling him the endings of books,” according to the report, and allegedly plunged a kitchen knife into Oleg’s ch Sergey claims he didn’t mean to kill his colleague, but he promptly turned himself in and was kept under house arrest until he could be flown back to the motherland. Oleg, meanwhile, was rushed to the nearest hospital—in Chile, South America—for surgery. He was in critical condition but is now expected to pull through.

All Work and No Play…

Look, if someone had spoiled the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I would have been pretty epically ticked off. Would I have tried to murder them? Well, probably not. But if I was trapped in the middle of a frozen wasteland with only 2 Russian TV channels and a tiny library of books, the stakes are a lot higher.

Amazingly enough, this isn’t the first time that someone has been driven batty by isolation in Antarctica. In 1959, one researcher allegedly murdered another with an ax after a chess game gone bad. And in 1983, a Chilean doctor was so sick of winter in Antarctica that he burned

The moral of the story is that if you find yourself trapped in a remote part of the world with another person, don’t antagonize them. And bring a fully-stocked Kindle.