Videos

What It's Like to Fly Over Antarctica

It's not just snow down there, at the bottom of the world.

Image
Reuters

What do you think of when you hear Antarctica? Snow, ice. Glaciers. The South Pole. Maybe penguins.

We think of it, in other words, less as a real place and more as a collection of attributes.

In fact, it is vast, larger than Europe, with landmarks of rock and ice. It holds islands named after Sputnik, jutting ridges named after wallabies, and a place called The Office Girls

The video above, shot by helicopter near the Mario Zucchelli Research Station, helps make sense of what the land mass is like—how the big white thing at the bottom of the Earth holds peaks, valleys, and an entire invisible geography. There are whole mountains down there! It’s a landscape that will become more familiar to us over the next century, both because of the continent’s massive reservoirs of fresh water and because it will simply be easier to reach, in a world warmed and technologically-enabled. 

So it’s a continent that we’d do well to get to know in advance—even if that means running naked over it.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

  • Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.