Incredible photo shows armed guards protecting sailors and scientists from polar bears while they play soccer in the Arctic

Polar bears are fearsome predators. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty.
  • Armed guards protected navy privates and scientists from polar bears while they played a game of soccer on March 22.
  • You can see an extraordinary photograph of the scene below.

You don’t need much to play soccer – just a couple of goal-frames, a soccer ball, and a grassy field.

Sometimes you don’t even need a field, as the photograph below clearly shows.

In the photo, KV Svalbard’s crew – formed of Norwegian Navy privates and scientists from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research – can be seen playing soccer on a big slab of ice in the Arctic, near Greenland.

The photo, taken on March 22, is all the more extraordinary as armed guards were deployed on the ice to protect the soccer-playing scientists from potential polar bear attacks.

Though polar bear attacks on humans are rare, the land carnivores are cited as one of the deadliest on the planet as they can mutilate humans with a swipe of a paw.

Here’s the photo:

Marius Vagenes Villander/AFP/Getty Images

The KV Svalbard is an icebreaker and the largest vessel in tonnage in Norway’s navy, according to a Norwegian government website Forsvaret.

It normally operates around Svalbard, the northernmost territory of Norway, and its missions include search and rescue, oil conservation, diving assistance and tow.

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