A Place Further Than The Universe (Sora yori mo Tooi Basho) is one of winter 2018’s stand out shows that features a group of teenage girls working to join an expedition to Antartica.
The anime has received praise for its art direction and character interaction, but some fans think teenagers heading to the Arctic is a tad too unbelievable, even by anime standards. But, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!
Jade Hameister is a 16-year-old explorer from Australia, and she recently became the youngest person to cross Greenland and reach the North and South poles. In total, she traveled a total of 746 miles (1,200 km) while dragging a sleigh up to double her bodyweight that was loaded with all her food for the journey.
This is some of the gear required for my unsupported unassisted expedition in Antarctica. Each of the food boxes weigh around 8kg and I will collect the fuel I will be carrying for the stove when we get to Union Glacier on Monday. “Unsupported” means the person receives no support from external forces, such as dogs, wind (kites), or vehicles – you have to use yourself to get to the Pole. “Unassisted” means no external assistance is received, such as airdrops of supplies along the way – many expeditions use air drops to keep their sled weight down. My total sled weight will be around 100kg. I’ve also thrown in a few lightweight extras to keep me sane, like 20 underpants instead of the recommended 2, letters from my friends to open along the way and an advent calendar (Christmas music was playing in the local supermarket today and I literally had to fight back tears 😂) Only 140 people in history have skied coast to South Pole unsupported unassisted and only 20 of these were women. No Aussie woman has done it yet. This is an obvious indication of how hard it’s going to be, but I’m SUPER excited to give it a go.. #bravenotperfect #expandpossible #climatechange #jadesquest #thepolarhatrick #northpole #greenland #southpole #nationalgeographic #nationalgeographicapp @natgeo @natgeoau @australiangeographic
Day 20: Christmas Eve in Antarctica! We covered 19.8km today through more sastrugi (hopefully only another 5-6 days of it before we hit the polar plateau). Everyone felt pretty good today considering we had a rest day yesterday. But it’s Christmas Day back home today (tomorrow in Antarctica), which makes me super excited but also sad that I’m not at home with family and friends during the best time of year. I think Christmas is so much about family and even though I won’t be with my whole family by blood, these guys have become my family while I’m out here and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Had a freaky but funny moment today on the ice… Ming (our cameraman) took his skis off for a session to film and was heading back to his sled after filming with me. I decided I would go to the toilet and just as I got my pants down I heard a yell/shriek. I was like wtf and looked up and Ming was about 50m away, chest deep in a crevasse holding on to the edge. The other 3 guys were quite the way ahead by then and I had a mini heart attack. My pants were still down but I unclipped from my sled and started running (waddling) towards him and yelling for Dad (he was the next closest in distance to Ming. He didn’t hear but within a couple seconds Ming had himself safe and gave me the thumbs up. I had a look on my way past and it went straight down to blackness. We laughed about it afterwards but far out was that lucky. 280km to go… #bravenotperfect #expandpossible #climatechange #jadesquest #thepolarhatrick #northpole #greenland #southpole #nationalgeographic #nationalgeographicapp @natgeo @natgeoau @australiangeographic
While traveling in Antartica, which is the same destination in A Place Further Than The Universe, Hameister decided to show up male critics that trolled her 2016 TEDx talk in Melbourne. At the time, she’d already visited the North Pole and was invited to give a talk to encourage young girls to embrace adventure and to resist societal pressure. Hameister’s talk was met with “make a sandwich” and “men did it first” comments on social media.
After making the record-setting visit to the South Pole, Hameister posed for a picture while holding a sandwich. A caption reads, “I skied back to the Pole again…to take this picture for all those men who commented, “Make me a sandwich.” I made you a sandwich (ham & cheese), now ski 37 days and 600km to the South Pole and you can eat it xx.”
Now with this real-life young adventurer traversing the South Pole, North Pole, and Greenland, the arctic goal of the heroines in A Place Further Than The Universe doesn’t seem so unrealistic.