Safari in Antarctica

What life is out there ? Today we went over to the nearby McMurdo station and spotted our first PENGUIN !!! Philip – the Adelie penguin – welcomed us at Hut Point. Until his best friend Steve – the Weddell seal – was spashing water at him before going for a dive with Mike – the Minke whale.

Even though Antarctica is an inhospitable environment for humans, life is plentyful above and under the ice. Around Ross Island thousands of penguins, seals, birds and even whales feed on these rich waters. It is our responsibility to protect this fragile ecosystem for future generations. However, we produce thousands of gallons waste-water every day while we are here. Chrissy – the waste-water plant manager at McMurdo station – filters this water and makes sure that our impact on the environment is minimalized. One of her helpers is “Winnie-the-Poo(h)-Bear”, is feeding on everything he can find in the waste-water. Micro-biology at his finest !

The final product of the waste-water treatment looks like soil and is shipped overseas for further treatment. The most interesting thing, however, is that tomato seeds in human waste can survive the treatment and even germinate in Antarctica ! I guess the students won’t eat any more tomatoes while we are here…

tomatoes.jpg

Tomatoes grown in Antarctica

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