An Incredible Revelation


We’ve always said South America and Antarctica are packed with revelatory travel experiences, but a recent revelation just off the end of the “thumb” of Antarctica, below South America, took that idea to the next level.
In the Weddell Sea, in a cluster of islands known as the Danger Islands (yes, that’s what this archipelago is actually called), using a special-made extreme weather drone, researchers have discovered some 1.5 million Adélie penguins, substantially increasing the known population of the species, and changing our understanding of the Adélie penguin population, which has “remained stable or modestly increased over the last 60 years.”
Prior to the identification of the Danger Islands Adélie penguin mega-colony, researchers believed the Adélie penguin population was in decline. This new data increases the documented global population by 20 per cent and changes our understanding of the species rather dramatically.
The discovery, first revealed in Scientific Reports, could also change the scope of conservation efforts in the region of the Waddell Sea, as the Danger Islands fall between two planned marine-protection areas, which scientists are now strongly suggesting should be expanded to include the archipelago.
As is always the case with scientific finds of this magnitude, the new population data forces scientists to ask even more questions; like how do that many penguins find enough food where they are?
“What is it about the ocean right there in that region that makes it so productive, is something we’d like to figure out,” Dr. Heather Lynch, one of the five primary investigators on the new study and a quantitative ecologist at Stony Brock University, said in an interview with the New York Times.
The revelatory discovery wasn’t without its many obstacles and setbacks. From freezing drone batteries to navigational challenges created by the change in the earth’s magnetic field close to the pole, the researchers found themselves consistently battling every challenge one of the planet’s coldest spots could throw their way.
While a Southern Explorations trip to Antarctica won’t come with any of the challenges or frustrations the researchers ran into, our commitment to service and attention to detail takes care of all that, our team of South America and Central America experts do look to deliver revelatory experiences in this extraordinary destination.
If you’re dreaming of making 2019 the year you make some celebrated Antarctic discoveries of your own, you’ll need to act soon.
“It’s important for our guests to know that we get the dates and rates a year-and-a-half in advance, so it’s good to keep in mind that it doesn’t usually help to wait too long, especially if you have a specific timeframe in which you’d like to travel,” explains Deanna Nicoli, our resident Antarctica trip expert.
The largest Antarctic expedition ships travel to the more distant destinations in Western Antarctica, such as the Weddell Sea. On select ships, such as the M/V Expedition you will even visit working scientific research centers and Adélie penguin rookeries.
Give Deanna a call today at 1-877-784-5400 and get ready to experience some incredible Antarctic revelations for yourself in 2019.