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Explore Antarctica Without Leaving Your Couch

by Victoria Boano Blog

There are many ways to explore Antarctica from home. Check these great resources to discover the White Continent without leaving your couch.
Antarctic Peninsula

Regions: Antarctica

Explore Antarctica Without Leaving Your Couch

There are many ways to undertake an Antarctica expedition from home. Check these great resources to discover the White Continent without leaving your couch.

Visit the expedition huts on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island.

Take a peek inside Scott's hut and explore the area surrounding the buildings thanks to Google Street View. After more than a century, these tiny prefabricated wooden cabins are still standing, giving us a clear idea of how the explorers lived and worked in the harsh Antarctic climate. Visit Scott’s hut

Explore the highlights of the State Library of New South Wales' Antarctic collections.

Take a look at curious old maps, view paintings of Capitan Cook's travels, marvel in the photographs taken by photographers and explorers. Some personal favourites: Hauling the dogs up the flying-fox at "The Grottoes", by Andrew D. Watson;  Ice-caked Adelie penguins after a blizzard; Cape Denison and Australian Antarctic Expedition Members: scenes inside living quarters, 1911-1915, both by Frank Hurley. Discovering Antarctica

Antarctic and Subantarctic Webcams

Penguin webcam at O'Higgins station
Who doesn't want to look at Gentoo penguins going about their daily business? Watch Gentoo penguins in the wild thanks to the photographs taken by webcams set up at a breeding colony at the German Antarctic Receiving Station (GARS) O'Higgins, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula. Martin Grund is responsible for the project, which started in 2004, and some of the cameras are still producing photographs. The site is mostly in German, but there is information available in English and Spanish. Visit website

Australian Antarctic Division
Watch the images provided by the six webcams operated by the Australian Antarctic Division.  Four are located at their permanent stations: three on the Antarctic continent at Mawson, Casey and Davis, and the other at sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. My favourite is the webcam located on the Aurora Australis, Australia’s Antarctic research and resupply flagship. There are time-lapse movies from her most recent voyages, and views from bow, stern and port cameras. There is a sixth camera, the krill camera, that provides videos (updated every 15 minutes) of the marine research aquarium where scientists study krill.

United States Antartic Program
Every 30 seconds or so, each of the cameras located at U.S. Antarctic stations produces live outdoor images. There are two cameras at Mc Murdo Station at Ross Island, two at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and one at Palmer Station on the peninsula side of the continent.

British Antarctic Survey
The cameras are set up on several British stations and even on ships! The webcam at Bird Island Research Station at Bird Island, South Georgia, provides images of a beach that in the summer is a fur seal breeding colony, in winter it is sometimes visited by leopard seals, and in spring by large male elephant seals, with Gentoo penguins waddling about all year-round. There are two cameras located at King Edward Point in South Georgia: one situated in Larsen House and another installed on a weather mast. There are webcams at the Rothera Research Station (this station is situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula), and at the Halley VI Research Station, which is built on a floating ice shelf in the south-east of the Weddell Sea. Two of the most interesting cameras are located on British research vessels. One is located on the conning tower of the RRS Ernest Shackleton, which shows incredible scenery during the Antarctic summer (during the Antarctic winter, the ship heads north to the Artic), and the other is installed on the port side of the bridge of the  RRS James Clark Ross, and it also produces stunning imagery while traversing the Antarctic waters. 

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