do all 24 time zones exist at the same time at the geographic South Pole?

GMartin
GMartin used Ask the Experts™
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Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

            I read some information that I find astonishingly hard to believe which I want to gather some objective thoughts on.   Basically, I read that all 24 time zones exist at the same time at the geographic point of the South Pole.  That said, it is the only place on Earth that a person can time travel by simply stepping back into yesterday from today and back into tomorrow.   This is explained by all lines of longitude converge at the exact point at the geographic location of the South Pole.  

            In closing, I do not even pretend to understand what I have just posted.  Hopefully, whoever reads this, will be able to offer translation that I can understand and make sense out of regarding this post.  

            Thanks in advance for any simplified versions which can be offered here.  

            George
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Time zones have no physical existence. They are only man made constructions. They are not even universal (as different people have different definitions of time zones)
They do not all converge at any point.  Consider the time zones of India. Russia does not have time zones.
byundtMechanical Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
Antartica observes time according to territorial claims and also according to the nation responsible for a specific scientific research station. As you get closer to the South Pole, you enter a region that by convention observes Zulu Time (Greenwich Mean Time).

Why do people do that? Well, depending on the month of the year, it may be light all the time, or dark all the time. In such situations, it is more important to be able to communicate with the people bringing supplies or news from home--so you use their time zone.

The Arctic region has the same issue with all 24 longitude lines converging at the North Pole. There, the convention is to use Zulu Time. That's a bummer for Santa's Elves, because they might have been able to take advantage of the extra time to produce toys by moving their factory from one time zone to another.
Joe WinogradDeveloper
Fellow 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi George,

My go-to site for time-and-date is:
https://www.timeanddate.com

It has an interesting write-up on Antarctica:
https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zone/antarctica

Note this comment (copied here under "Fair Use"):
The Earth's longitudes meet on the geographical South Pole in Antarctica. This means that, in theory, any of the world's time zones could be used there. However, since it is usually accessed via New Zealand, the Amundsen-Scott station located on the South Pole observes New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) during standard time and New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT) during the DST.
Regards, Joe
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
>>  the only place on Earth that a person can time travel by simply stepping back into yesterday from today and back into tomorrow.  <<  at the North pole the same is true

but what is the importance? stepping back or forth does not bring you from night into daylight - it stays the same
but you can say you "overstepped" the hour, and even dayline - which is a man made idea, to understand time around the world
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.


https://www.sciencefocus.com/planet-earth/what-time-zones-are-used-at-the-north-pole-and-south-pole/
Developer
Fellow 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi George,

I thought that a visual might be helpful (base image by Tony Kirvan, 11/8/97, copied from here under "Fair Use"):

longitudes - time zones
You can see the 24 (red) lines of longitude that define the 24 time zones on Earth, The longitudes all meet at a single point at the North and South poles. Regards, Joe

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Commented:
Thank you, everyone, for your shared thoughts, resourceful links, and graphical illustration in response to my question.  Since I am a very visually based learning individual,  the graphical illustration provided by Joe certainly did help to bring simplicity to a rather difficult topic for discussion.  

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to share your viewpoints.  

George
Joe WinogradDeveloper
Fellow 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2018

Commented:
You're welcome, George...I'm glad that the visual was helpful for you. Regards, Joe
Thank you George for the interesting question and very good visual posted by Joe!

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