Antarctica

Endurance was crushed by the sea-ice and sank in 3,000m of water
The wreck of the Endurance remains one of the most iconic of all shipwrecks since it was crushed by the sea-ice in 1915, and sank in 3,000m of water.

Shackleton's Endurance found

What remains of the Endurance is 3,000m down in waters that are pretty much permanently covered in thick sea-ice, the same sea-ice that trapped and then ruptured the hull of Shackleton's polar yacht.

Some of the nests that were discovered
Some of the nests that were discovered

World's largest fish breeding area discovered in Antarctica

Using a towed camera system, researchers discovered the world’s largest fish breeding area near the Filchner Ice Shelf, south of the Antarctic Weddell Sea.

The nests belonged to the Jonah’s icefish (Neopagetopsis ionah). Mapping the area suggested a total extent of 240 square kilometres. Based on the density of the nests and the size of the breeding area, it was estimated that there were about 60 million nests.

Researchers pick up nine new calls made by Weddell seals

Most of these sounds were measured at more than 21 kHz, which is beyond the range of human hearing of 20 to 20,000 hertz. A particular high-pitched whistle came in at 49.8 kHz. When the seals harmonised multiple tones, the resultant sound may exceed 200 kHz, which is beyond what even cats and dogs can hear).

The discovery was the subject of a paper published online in the journal The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

Blue whale off Sri Lanka
Between 2011 and 2020, 41 different blue whales have been photo-identified from South Georgia, none of which match the 517 whales in the current Antarctic blue whale photographic catalogue.

Blue whale numbers rebound off South Georgia

When whaling all but exterminated the Antarctic blue whale 50 years ago, the waters around South Georgia fell silent. Between 1998 and 2018, dedicated whale surveys off the sub-Antarctic island yielded a sole blue whale sighting. But a whale expedition this year and analysis by an international research team resulted in 58 blue whale sightings and numerous acoustic detections, raising hopes that the critically endangered mammal is finally recovering five decades after whaling was banned.

Antarctica: Polar Diving

On our journey north of the polar circle, my fellow adventurers and I were greeted by an astonishing spectacle. Over 20 orca were hunting an animal so rare that few people have seen them in the wild, let alone had the chance to study them. Using immense strength, agility and cunning intelligence, the orca worked as a team to hold the Arnoux’s beaked whale under water to drown it.