Antarctic Item 057, a yellow piece of fabric with four protruding cords, comes from McMurdo Station’s Berg Field Center which issues food, supplies and science equipment to field parties.
Like the preceding artifact, Item 057 is a fragment of a larger piece of material that presumably had a purpose. Even reduced to its present size, I’ll propose it still has use to resourceful explorers in the field.
How? Well, I imagine a lost party arranging the fabric’s four long winding cords over the yellow field to create a makeshift map in discussing topographical contours, boundaries, and passable routes. They’d have had a long march ahead of them, and when their shoelaces inevitably gave out, these cords would serve as replacements. And when their camp flag got shredded by polar winds, the yellow remnant would be hoisted as the new beacon, triumphantly leading to their rescue.
Or at least that’s the way I imagine it.