10 fascinating Antarctic features
10 physical features of Antarctica that will amaze you 10 Amazing physical features of Antarctica that will inspire you to learn more about this wonderful landscape!
Elephant Island was charted by the Russians. The island was discovered in February 1820 by the British Navy’s Edward Bransfield and charted in January 1821 by the first Russian Antarctic expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on two ships — the Vostok and the Mirny. These explorers named it Mordvinov Island, in honor of eighteenth-century Admiral Nikolay Mordvinov of the Imperial Russian Navy.
Ernest Shackleton and his crew took refuge on Elephant Island in 1916. Shackleton and 27 men set off on the Endurance in August 1914 for the Weddell Sea, but they got stuck in the ice. Months later, they abandoned ship with their lifeboats when it flooded and sank. When the ice finally melted, they headed for Elephant Island on their lifeboats. Stranded upon arrival, Shackleton was determined not to fail his crew. He and five men took a lifeboat and finally landed on South Georgia Island on May 10. There, Shackleton and his two strongest men hiked over treacherous mountains before reaching a whaling station. They were then able to rescue the three others on the other side of South Georgia. Finally, on August 30, 1916, Shackleton’s rescue ship — the Yelcho, commanded by Luis Pardo — arrived at Elephant Island. Shackleton’s entire crew survived.
Elephant Island has two historical sites. The first is the Endurance Memorial Site, commemorating Shackleton’s fateful journey, with a bust of Captain Luis Pardo, who together with Shackleton saved the men. The other is the wreckage of a large wooden boat in Hampson Cove (in the southwestern part of the island), possibly the SS Hampson. Because of this wreck, the site was designated a historical monument and is now a feature of the island.
A joint services expedition landed on Elephant Island in 1970. The expedition lasted six months, from 1970 to 1971, and was led by Commander Malcolm Burley. Burley and his party carried out scientific research on Elephant Island and climbed several of the island’s peaks. This expedition followed an earlier one, also made by Burley, to South Georgia Island.
Elephant seals are everywhere on Elephant Island. The adorable elephant seals that give the island its name are one of a kind. Their large hanging noses resemble elephants’ trunks, and they’re known for making loud, roaring noises, particularly during mating season. Don’t let their cuteness fool you — when giant males fight for mates, things can get ugly.
Elephant Island is worth your time.
There aren’t any plants or permanent settlements on the island, apart from some Brazilian researchers at the Goeldi shelter during the summer . Despite this, Elephant Island in Antarctica has an incredible history and plenty of stories to tell.
Changing climate in Antarctica
Changing climate in Antarctica With the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 18th century humans began pouring CO2 into the atmosphere – first from burning coal, and later from oil and gas. Since then this period of anthropogenic climate change has led to a global warming of about 1˚C.
When to visit Antarctica
Not sure when exactly to travel to Antarctica? This calendar of what you can see during different stages of its spring and summer season might help you decide. As the sun returns to Antarctica after its long winter, a wealth of wildlife can be seen throughout the spring and summer season. Each period showcases different stages of the cycle of life, including courting, nest-building, giving birth to new life, and raising their young.
Wildlife in Antarctica
Wildlife on ice Antarctica is the only continent with no significant plant life and no native land mammals, reptiles, or amphibians. Even in the extreme environment of Antarctica, life not only survives but thrives. Its icy seas, isolated icebergs and snow-driven deserts are home to wildlife that surprise and charm all who visit them.
Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition (Southbound)
October 22 2022 and October 17 2023 - 18 days
MS Roald Amundsen
Antarctica & Falklands Expedition
10 departures between Nov 2022 and Feb 2024 - 16 days
MS Roald Amundsen