Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine

What time zones are used at the North Pole and South Pole?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

After all, Santa can't afford to be late on Christmas Day.

Asked by: Gary Dineen, Ireland


The rotation of the Earth means that time zones are dictated by the lines of longitude connecting the two poles. But at the poles themselves, all these lines converge, meaning that technically the poles are in all the time zones simultaneously.

In practice, polar explorers and scientists simply choose whatever time zone is most convenient. Those working at McMurdo Station (pictured) in Antarctica, for example, have chosen to use New Zealand local time.

Read more:


Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.


Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.


Sponsored content