IT WASN'T AS BIG as, say, finding a Lost Ark made of Jolly Ranchers, but the discovery last January of a vintage Hershey's chocolate bar entombed in polar ice rocked the world of snack archaeology. Now, a year later, the company wants to know: How did the sweet get to Antarctica in the first place?
American explorer Doug Stoup found the bar, marked with the date 1937, when looking for his own food cache near the Amundsen-Scott Station, and turned it over to the Hershey Museum. There, gung-ho curators initially claimed in an exhibit that the bar had once belonged to legendary explorer Admiral Richard Byrd, leader of numerous trips to the continent. But that trail ran cold when they found out Byrd never went anywhere near the Pole on the six trips he made to the continent, except in an airplane.
In hopes of resolving the mystery, in January the Museum will interview members of the American Polar Society, looking for fresh leads. Meanwhile, the museum has a new challenge: keeping the bar, developed as an emergency ration for the U.S. Army, intact. "It was made to be low in fat and high in carbs," says spokesperson Amy Taber. "And you know how bugs like carbs."