The World's Loneliest ATM is in Antarctica

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo

Despite the frigid temperatures, ornery elephant seals, and months of perpetual darkness, Antarctica is still a place where money matters. That’s where Wells Fargo comes in.

The banking conglomerate installed an automatic teller machine (ATM) back in 1998 at McMurdo Station, the largest science hub on the continent. Depending on the season, McMurdo’s population ranges from 250 to more than 1000. And like any small community, commerce is crucial. In order to patronize the coffee shops, general stores, bars, or post office, money is exchanged in what amounts to a closed economy. Some places only accept cash; others have a credit card minimum that’s hard to meet when you need just a couple of items.

But what happens if there’s a malfunction at a time when flights in and out are scarce due to weather conditions?

According to Wells Fargo spokesperson Kristopher Dahl, the company trains McMurdo staff to make simple repairs; more importantly, there’s a second ATM that can be cannibalized for parts. “Every two years, both machines are serviced and brought up to speed on the latest technology,” he says. The vendors chosen for that job undergo a psychological exam and a physical to make sure they’re equipped to deal with the Antarctic climate in case they get held over.

While McMurdo is near New Zealand territory, the ATM only dispenses American currency. (Staffers can exchange money at Scott Base, which is about two miles away.) There is no such thing as the Antarctic dollar, though the Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office does produce “collectible” bills they’ll buy or sell for their face value until the faux-money expires.

Naturally, we wondered what the consequences would be if someone lost their mind and had the financial resources to max out their daily withdrawal limit until they depleted the ATM of its cash reserves, ruining the economy of an entire continent.

“That’s interesting,” Dahl says. “For security reasons, we can’t share how much cash is in the machine or other related information.” Anyone planning any type of foul play should take note: Dahl says that there’s a camera in the unit.   

[via Today I Learned]

Which Country Is the Landmark From?

The 10 Most Stressed-Out States in America

iStock.com/Creative-Family
iStock.com/Creative-Family

Stress levels are on the rise across the U.S. According to an American Psychiatric Association-sponsored survey, nearly 40 percent of people reported feeling more anxious in 2018 than they did last year. But tensions are running higher in some states than others. To see which states have the most stressed-out residents, check out the list below from Zippia.

To compile the ranking, the job search engine scored each state in America on six criteria: commute times, unemployment rates, work hours, population density, home price to income ratio, and rates of uninsured residents. After sifting through data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey for 2012 through 2016, they came up with the top 10 states where stress levels are highest.

New Jersey nabbed the top spot because of its lengthy commute times, long work hours, and a high housing cost to income ratio. Georgia, with its high unemployment and uninsured rates, came in second place. And despite all the sunshine and beautiful coastlines, Florida and California residents still have plenty to be stressed about, with the states ranking third and fourth, respectively.

1. New Jersey
2. Georgia
3. Florida
4. California
5. New York
6. Louisiana
7. Maryland
8. North Carolina
9. Virginia
10. Mississippi

The most stressed-out states in America tend to fall on the coasts, with Midwestern states like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa enjoying the lowest stress levels, according to a 2017 analysis from WalletHub. To see where your state ranks, you can check out the full map of high-anxiety states on Zippia's website. If you see your home state near the top of the list, consider implementing a few of these relaxation strategies into your daily routine.

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