Moss, and an Adelie Penguin

To me the most interesting part of this picture is not the Adelie Penguin (even though it being one of my favourite penguins) but the green parts he’s standing on. There are only 2 native higher plants on Antarctica (and more and more accidentally introduced species). So the joke we always make is that being a botanist on Antarctica is very easy, you only have to know two species. However, there are many more mosses and lichens that are also in the field of the Antarctic botanists, so there is more to it. However, as nearly all of Antarctica is permanently covered in ice and most of the other parts are bare rock and still very cold and dry, there is only very limited space for those plants to grow. And most of it is on the Antarctic Peninsula.

But we were still stunned by the amount of green on this place, Devils Island. As you can see in this picture there is a lot of green moss all around. One of the greenest areas I’ve ever seen on Antarctica (yes, this is as green as it gets over there…).

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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