Antarctica, Terra Incognita
Antarctica is sometimes known as terra incognita, the unknown land. It’s also the last untouched continent and one of the most pristine wilderness locations on Earth. With ten thousand foot peaks rising straight from the ocean, crystal blue icebergs the size of office buildings, hundreds of glaciers (on the Antarctic Peninsula alone), and beaches teeming with seals and penguins, my trip to the continent at the bottom of the world didn’t disappoint. With a turn of the ship into every harbor or bay, more of the same awaited us. And most of this magnificent landscape has never had a human foot tread upon it. This amazing place most certainly is terra incognita.
Below are just a sample of the photos I captured on my recent trip. Sorry for the abundance of penguin images but they are so plentiful and such photogenic, expressive creatures. Enjoy!
“Adelie Waddle” Adelie penguins at Brown Bluff, East Coast of Tabarin Peninsula, Antarctica
“Terra Incognita” Iceberg and foggy mountains in the Gerlache Straight, Antarctica
“Half Moon Solitude” A chinstrap penguin surveying the icy landscape at sunset, Half Moon Island, Antarctica
“Weddell Seal at Yankee Harbor” A Waddell seal catches some rays while on the ice, Robert Island in the South Shetlands, Antartica
“Rock Thief” Chinstrap penguins at Half Moon Island, Antarctica. The penguin in the middle has just stolen a rock from a nest and the others are justifiably upset.
“Branford Ice” A lone seabird flies by the face of an enormous blue iceberg, Branford Straight, Antarctica
“Braving the Storm” A Gentoo penguin during a gust of harsh wind and snow, King George Island, Antarctica
“Nesting Gentoos” Gentoo penguins sitting on their nests, Useful Island, Antarctica
“Larsen’s Shelf” A giant iceberg from a broken piece of the Larsen Ice Shelf, Branford Straight, Antarctica
“Catching Snowflakes” A pair of gentoo penguins appear to be catching snowflakes – or singing. Actually, they are vocalizing, the method they use to attract mates, Paradise Bay, Antarctica
A fascinating website that offers information on conserving the southern continent’s ecosystem, promoting responsible tourism, and the latest news is the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. Take a look when you get the chance.
Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer is the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.
This is AMAZING! Just such a spectacular display of the beauty there Richard! So glad you had this opportunity.. I personally will NEVER tire of those blue and white images! 🙂 And the penguins & seals?.. Their sweet little personalities omygosh .. I LOVE them!! Thank you for your passion for the earths beauty.. of the tiresome treks to get there ..not to mention all the hard work behind the scenes you do.. so we can see what we may never get to experience on our own. God has so blessed the work of your hands. And thank you, too… for your passion to help preserve the wildlife all across the globe! You are a global influencer and such a mentor for this next generation to follow!
I totally agree with Karen, even though I didn’t realize how much you do and have done. Thank you. I love the blue icebergs…and the penguins “catching snowflakes” made me smile along with the silly seal. You take me and others to places we would never be able to get to….you show us unbelievable pictures from your adventures. Also, for all you do to protect and help our animal friends co-habitating on the Earth with us. Thank you again and I’m glad I found you on Twitter…I’m now an official follower.
THe photo “Terra Incongita” is really a special one. Congratulations
These are amazing! I love your blog and seeing your work. Is it just me or can you imagine a face on the mountain in “Terra Incognita”? I love them all but was especially drawn to the seals and “Catching Snowflakes”! Thanks for sharing!
I found this both visually and emotionally stimulating. To think these animals may be coming in contact with humans for the first time.
Your photography takes my breath away! I can “feel” the life inside these amazing animals that you capture so well. It’s as if your lens is your heart.
Fantastic job. Well done, mate.
What no one ever quite gets used to is the brutalizing effect of the wind. The average wind speed at McMurdo is ten miles per hour (12 knots). Extremely high winds, common all over Antarctica and terrifyingly swift to arrive, can freeze exposed flesh in seconds. That, effectively, is what constitutes frostbite, not initially a highly dangerous injury but one that can soon become fatal if untreated. A wind racing along at 35 miles per hour (56 knots), for example, which is fairly usual, reduces an ambient temperature of minus six degrees Celsius to a windchill factor of minus 28.