I’d love to have a dollar for each time someone has asked me, “Isn’t Lake George connected to a lake in China, or is it Siberia?”
Underwater photography is helping
shed light on Australia’s mysterious seadragons.
With colours like that, you wouldn’t think the squarespot anthias needs much else to catch the eye. But this fish goes all out, wearing an almost perfectly shaped mirror on its body.
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Table Mountain, Antarctic SoundIn February 2010, a team of 57 explorers comprising some of the world’s best wildlife photographers, film makers and marine scientists, embarked on a voyage to Antarctica.
King penguins, Fortuna Bay, South GeorgiaThe expedition loosely followed the journey taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew. After losing their ship in 1915, the crew trekked from the Weddell Sea, across the treacherous Drake Passage to South Georgia.
Fortuna Bay, AntarcticaThe Elysium team documented the current state of the Antarctic wilderness, with biological samples and photographic and video documentation.
Antarctic fur seal, Jason Harbour, South Georgia
One of the aims of the Elysium team was to document of the diversity of animals, glaciers, land and seascapes, in order to provide a reference point for the monitoring of climate change and its effects.
King penguins, Fortuna Bay, South Georgia
The common theme throughout the crew was a passion for the importance of the wilderness. “The Antarctic and Southern Ocean are most affected by global warming,” says expedition leader and photographer, Michael Aw. “It is the engine room of our climate.”
Adelie penguins, Petermann Island, AntarcticaThe crew included divers, photographers, film crew, bloggers, field scientists, medical practitioners, musicians and historians.
Antarctic fur seals, Fortuna Bay, South Georgia
The Antarctic Peninsula, which a key breeding ground for krill, has warmed by 3°C in the last 50 years, says Michael. This figure is five times faster than the world average.
Danco Island, Antarctica
A videographer braves sub-zero waters to catch over- and under- water footage.
Gentoo pengiuns, Melchoir Island
Since the 1970s, numbers of Antarctic krill have dropped by about 80%.
Danco Island, AntarcticaThe resulting images depict ice from above and below the water surface.
Adelie penguins, Petermann IslandKrill might be the most important animals in the Southern Ocean. They feed on phytoplankton and are in turn eaten by a wide range of animals including fish, penguins, seals and whales.
King Penguins, Fortuna Bay, South GeorgiaCold water, which drives the circulation of the world’s oceans and in turn climate patterns, is reducing, while becoming warmer and less salty. “Antarctica is in trouble. Big trouble,” says Michael.
Ice in Paradise Harbour, AntarcticaAccording to scientists, changes in ocean flows and shifts in Antarctic ice cap levels are now occurring at rates faster than at any other time in history.
A tomepterid worm, photographed in South GeorgiaWilliam Fraser, a researcher at Palmer Station on Anvers Island, Antarctica, reports that the Adélie penguin population of 100,000 has shrunk by 80% since he began studying the colony in 1974.
Penguins on Gourdin Island
The crew completed a 3277 nautical mile expedition from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula, crossing to South Georgia.
Pair of Antarctic fur sealsExpedition leader Michael Aw believes there could still be hope for Antarctica. “I like to think we are at the tipping point, we still have time,” he says. “We came together to produce the imageries of Elysium Epic, with the mission to reveal the magnificence of the Antarctic.”
Home Travel Destinations Gallery: Incredible Antarctica photos
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