science
Boaty McBoatface Just Helped Solve a Deep-Sea Mystery

The internet was a purer place in 2016, and there’s no more perfect distillation of that truth than the spontaneous, crowdsourced effort to name a £200 million state-of-the-art research vessel Boaty McBoatface. Parliament eventually decided to go with the more stately RRS Sir David Attenborough, but it offered the public an olive branch by naming an autonomous sub Boaty McBoatface. And it brings me great joy to take a break from the hellscape that is the internet in 2019 and revisit Boaty the sub, which recently did some serious sciencing around Antarctica. Read More >>

science
Meet the Guy Who Spends Months in the Antarctic Collecting Penguin Poo

Stef Bokhorst has spent a number of Christmases in the South Pole. He’s never come across Santa Claus, but he has spotted some orcas, penguins, and elephant seals over the years. And he’s seen a lot of poo. Read More >>

science
Where Does Life Flourish in Antarctica? Follow the Penguin Poo

The Antarctic is teeming with microscopic life: mites, water bears, and roundworms squirm around, invisible to the naked eye. In fact, the Antarctic is full of biodiversity hotspots—and they’re thanks to penguin and elephant seal poo. Read More >>

science
Scientists Think They’ve Solved the Mystery of a Giant Hole in Antarctica’s Sea Ice

A year and a half ago, in the middle of the Antarctic winter, satellite images of the frozen continent revealed something wild: a gaping hole in the middle of Antartica’s sea ice that spanned thousands of square miles. Scientists were fascinated and puzzled by feature, which hadn’t appeared at this scale since the 1970s. Now, a team of researchers think they know what caused it. Read More >>

science
Scientists Might Finally Know Why Some Icebergs Are Bright Green

In the 18th-century English poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a storm drives a sailor’s ship toward the South Pole, where he encounters all manner of fantastical sights, including floating icebergs “as green as emerald.” It may sound like author Samuel Coleridge was taking some poetic license, but emerald-coloured icebergs are a real thing—and more than 200 years after that ballad was inked, scientists might know what causes them. Read More >>

science
Scientists Will Once Again Try to Explore Alien Ecosystem Exposed by Giant Antarctic Iceberg

Last year, a team of scientists embarked on a mission to explore the seafloor exposed when a hefty iceberg popped off the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. Frustratingly, their ship had to turn around mid-voyage thanks to impenetrable sea ice. This year, amidst near-record low Antarctic sea ice levels, another team of scientists will make an attempt. Read More >>

science
Rare Fossil of Triassic Reptile Discovered in Antarctica

The fossilised remains of an early reptile dating back some 250 million years have been uncovered in the unlikeliest of places: Antarctica. The discovery shows how wildlife recovered after the worst mass extinction in our planet’s history, and how Antarctica once hosted an ecosystem unlike any other. Read More >>

science
Record-Setting Ice Hole Drilled in Antarctica

Using a hot-water drill, British scientists have dug a 7,060-foot borehole through the Antarctic ice sheet. The comically long ice hole is the largest ever for West Antarctica, and it’s meant to improve our understanding of climate-related sea level rise. Read More >>

climate change
This Part of Antarctica Was Not Supposed to Be Shrinking

When scientists talk about Antarctic melting, they’re usually referring to West Antarctica, where giant coastal glaciers are shedding incredible amounts of water. But across the Transantarctic mountains to the east, there’s a much larger mantle of ice that’s generally thought to be keeping its chill. A new study, however, asserts that East Antarctica is also losing weight at a worrying clip. Read More >>

science
The Machines That Spy on Antarctica’s Hidden Lakes

The solar panels stood tall against the icy expanse as the four-person team approached on snowmobile. GZ20 hadn’t seen visitors in a year, having endured yet another brutal Antarctic winter since the last time its human caretakers checked in. But the fact that its power source could be seen from over three kilometres out—a speck of black in a world of white and blue—told Colorado School of Mines glaciologist Matt Siegfried the lonely GPS station was in good shape. Read More >>

science
Ice Cores Could Solve Thousand-Year-Old Cosmic Ray Mystery

New evidence confirms that an influx of cosmic rays struck the entire planet around 994 CE—and it might solve the mystery of the event’s origin. Read More >>

science
Scientists Just Melted a Hole Through 3,500 Feet of Ice to Reach a Mysterious Antarctic Lake

While you were stuffing your face with mince pies and bingeing Netflix shows over Christmas, a team of about 50 scientists, drillers, and support staff was attempting to punch through nearly 4,000 feet of ice to access an Antarctic subglacial lake for just the second time in human history. And folks, they did it. Read More >>

science
Listen to the Creepy Noises Picked Up at a Space Weather Station in Antarctica

Scientists often detect weird sounds in Antarctica, from the groans of melting glaciers to seismic waves rippling through ice shelves. But a space weather station run by the British Antarctic Survey may hold the most diverse selection of acoustic oddities collected on the frozen continent to date. Read More >>

science
Antarctic Scientists Are About to Drill Into One of the Most Isolated Lakes on Earth

Buried beneath 4,000 feet of Antarctic ice lies Lake Mercer, a subglacial body of water that formed thousands of years ago and has been long separated from the rest of the world. A project to explore this lake—and its mysterious contents—is finally set to begin later this month. Read More >>

climate change
Watch 40 Years of Icebergs Breaking off Antarctica

Iceberg mania briefly overtook the internet last month when NASA captured a rectangular freakberg. But icebergs are with us all the time, and there’s a new animation to help you celebrate them in all shapes and sizes. Read More >>