Livingston Island

An Antarctic island located in the South Shetlands, Livingston Island was the first landmass to be discovered in Antarctica

Livingston Island

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: South Shetland Islands

The lay of the land on Livingston Island

Livingston Island is part of the South Shetland Islands, divided from the Antarctic Peninsula by Bransfield Strait. Its coastlines are characterized by ice cliffs, coves, and rocky beaches, and most of its interior is covered in an ice cap interrupted by plateaus, ice domes, valley glaciers, and ash layers from nearby Deception Island’s active volcano. Livingston Island is very mountainous and features a number of prominent peaks.

Livingston Island wildlife and landing locations

Antarctic terns, southern elephant seals, fur seals, and gentoo penguins can be spotted around Livingston Island, which also has diverse plant life in the form of herb tundra vegetation. A popular travel destination on Livingston Island is Hannah Point, where elephants seals can be seen, and the nearby Deception Island and Half Moon Island are also prime landing sites.

The long history of Livingston Island

Livingston Island was the first piece of land discovered south of 60°S, recorded on 19 February, 1819, by British Captain William Smith and his crew. This ended centuries of speculation and pursuit into the supposed realm of Terra Australis Incognita, the uncertain identity Antarctica had possessed since antiquity. Not surprisingly, the name Livingston witnessed a surge of popularity after 1820.

Livingston Island’s remains of the past

Due to Livingston Island’s history as a focal point of Antarctic exploration and activity, the island is still home to the remains of huts and sealer artifacts. In fact, after South Georgia, Livingston Island represents the second greatest concentration of such sites in all of Antarctica.

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