A barren landscape, the South Pole is actually a desert. It’s not the kind of desert most people imagine, with lots of sand and heat and maybe a camel ambling by. Instead of sand, there’s snow. But almost all of that snow has blown in from more coastal regions of the continent, ushered in from strong katabatic winds. The South Pole environment is often described as otherworldly, and this week’s photos from IceCube’s winterovers—featuring a bright moon casting shadows that reveal the roughness of the windswept surface—exemplify that portrayal.