Antarctica – Fantastical World without Borders

Elephant Seal Beach, King George Island, Antarctica

What can I say about Antarctica? It really does occupy a different world than the one we live in. First and foremost, the human factor is such a minor one on this continent…we simply haven’t had the time to make our imprint on this frozen landscape.  Much of this has to do with the fact that it was only discovered relatively recently, in 1820, and since then has been more or less shielded from human habitation or industry.

True, I journeyed to Antarctica in January 2012 for the penguins and the glaciers…but what really made this place unique to me was the international aspect of the land.  Though some may dispute this, it belongs to no one country, but is instead shared by researchers from around the globe. For a traveler like myself used to the hoopla of passing through international borders, it was fascinating to see how easy it was for nationals of Russia, China, Chile, Korea, Uruguay, Argentina, and other countries to freely intermingle and walk unopposed through each others bases. Nowhere else in the world that I know of is this possible…it’s a phenomenon to be experienced, to say the least.

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