A secret Nazi base in the Arctic abandoned after scientists ate infected polar bear meat has been unearthed.
The mysterious site, named ‘Schatzgraber’ or ‘Treasure Hunter’ by Hitler's underlings, was constructed in 1942 - a year after the Third Reich invaded Russia.
Russian researchers have now rediscovered the military base, which the former garrison evacuated by U-boat after eating infected polar bear meat.
The base could have been part of a mission to find ancient artefacts.
More than 500 objects were recovered form the site as Russian scientists explored the former Nazi compound located in Alexandra Land, an island around 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole.
On the barren moonscape of the isolated island, relics of the Second World War can be seen, with shells and other fragments of the conflict lying on the shale.
The ruins of bunkers, discarded petrol canisters and even paper documents have also been discovered, preserved in the intense cold.
Alexandra Land, named for a lady in the Russian nobility, lies in the extreme north within the Arctic Circle.
It was disputed by a number of nations, including Norway, for its access to whaling territory.
Between 1930 and 1990 the Nazi weather station was the only fixed presence on the barren island.
The spot became strategically important in WWII because of the weather reports it produced - helping military operations and transport in the far north.
Allied forces occupied most suitable sites for polar weather reports, so the Nazis landed a small group of observers on Alexandra Land.
Supplies for the men at the remote post were dropped by air.
In 1944 all of the men at he base ate raw polar bear meat, which resulted in disease from roundworms living in the infected flesh.
A U-boat had to rescue the scientists posted there after infection ravaged their base.
The island became more strategically significant during the Cold War, when American and Russia vied for control of the Arctic, and the region’s mineral wealth became apparent.
The island lies within the territory of the Russian Federation, and the country is establishing build its own permanent military base on the site.
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