Antarctic wildlife

“What wildlife?” do I hear you ask?

Well, I always figured there were penguins and that was about it. Much to my surprise I find that there’s an abundance of fish and plant life under the ice. I just had no idea. It’s also interesting to see the underside of the ice and the way the light shines through and plays on everything underneath.

Watch for the quick reaction of the little fish at 1:30! Hmmm… lunch.

Henry Kaiser is a guitarist and research diver. He made this video while diving under the ice at McMurdo Station. He also plays guitar on the backing track.

Henry also shot a good film of life at McMurdo. It begins with the landing of a plane on the ice runway on the Ross Sea. I was sure it was going to flatten the camera. And as it lands the wings are flexing so much you’d reckon something would break. Oh, and the fact that there’s water under the runway… well, count me out!

As if diving under ice wasn’t enough, the McMurdo diving supervisor (also a guitarist) takes Henry’s guitar on a dive and plays it underwater – all the time being filmed by Henry, of course: Ice Diving Guitar in Antarctica.

Shackleton’s Hut

Ernest Shackleton led the 1907-1909 British Imperial Antarctic Expedition (also known as the Nimrod Expedition after the transport ship). At Cape Royds, at the McMurdo Sound end of Ross Island, the party built a hut, which has now been restored and its contents catalogued. The hut is not far from present-day Scott Base (NZ) and McMurdo Station (USA). Looking at photos of the interior and a plan of the hut, it seems incredible that fifteen men called it home. Only Shackleton had a separate room. They must have got to know each other very well.

In this video we see Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators at work. Although it’s over 100 years since the hut was built it looks like the occupants just stepped out for a while and will soon be back. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Antarctic exploration history.

For more information on the Nimrod Expedition, see