But nothing compares to the drone footage that Kalle Ljung and his small crew took from December 2014 to January 2015 of the harshest place on earth: Antarctica.
Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and emptiest (in terms of human inhabitants) place on earth. Many places on this icy, snow-covered continent have never before been explored by human beings, making it a wonderful spectacle of natural beauty.
Antarctica is the southernmost continent and can be reached only by boat or plane.
That’s probably why few ever visit — that and it’s really cold!
Thanks to Ljung’s drone skills, everyone can experience this alien ice world without the hassle of dealing with the freezing temperatures.
Ljung and his crew visited in the middle of the Arctic summer, when temperatures on the coast range from 14 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ljung and his crew sailed a yacht to Antarctica.
You can see one of the crew members controlling the drone from the mast:
Their route was a long one.
They launched in Ushuaia, Argentina, about 680 miles from their final destination, in the Melchior Islands. From there, they sailed to Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America.
After that, it was a relatively straight shot across the Drake Passage (the open water between Cape Horn and Antarctica that was first crossed by Dutch navigator Willem Shouten in 1616) to the Melchior Islands of Antarctica.
They spent 16 days sailing through the waters around these islands. During that time, they saw what Ljung describes on Vimeo as “the most amazing scenery and wildlife.”
There are over a dozen whale species that spend time in Antarctic waters; Ljung caught some of the majestic creatures coming up for air.
He doesn’t specify what species they belong to, but it’s an incredible sight.
In 2012, a team of scientists reported that some of these whales (Humpbacks who frequent Antarctica in the summer and autumn) are hanging around Antarctic shores longer than previously estimated.
Part of this, they suspect, is that climate change is driving the onset of winter to later in the year. Therefore, longer autumn seasons could be affecting these whales’ migration habits; they usually migrate in winter toward the equator to breed.
Experience more of Antarctica’s Melchior Islands in the full video, complete with an inspirational soundtrack:
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