Antarctic researchers developed a strange accent after being isolated for 6 months. What is the explanation

Living on the edge of the world comes with an unexpected perk: You might learn about an exotic accent heard only in Antarctica.

Antarctic researchers have developed a strange accent PHOTO Shutterstock

A study, first reported by the BBC's Richard Gray, found that over time the accents of Antarctic “winterers” began to change very slightly, turning into a movement of American, German, Icelandic accents , Scottish and Welsh, notes Business Insider.

The research provides a snapshot of how new accents develop when communities grow in isolation, such as when English speakers colonized new countries and developed new accents.

The researchers tracked the speech of 26 international researchers and support staff who spent six months at the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera research station in May 2018.

They have little access to the outside world because satellite calls are expensive, providing a perfect testing laboratory for linguistic research.

Every few weeks, 11 'winterers' recorded a series of 29 common words such as 'food', 'coffee', 'hidden' or 'air flow', the BBC reported.

The recordings were analyzed by researchers at the Institute of Phonetics and Speech Processing, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.

The scientists discovered subtle changes in accents, including a slightly different way of pronouncing the “egg” sound in the words “flow” and “sew,” as well as adjustments to a few consonants.

It was very subtle – you can't hear the changes,” Jonathan Harrington, professor of phonetics and speech and author of the study, told the BBC.

Antarctic residents have also started to pick up on some very strange slang like 'fod plod' for litter picking – a play on the technical term 'foreign object waste', according to the BBC.

However, the changes are very likely to be short-lived.

For accents to develop to the point where they're noticeable, it really takes a generational shift.”Harrington told the BBC.

The research was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America in 2019.