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In Pictures: Antarctica

Posted by Angela Glienicke - 1st December 2017

Antarctica is the only continent that is relatively untouched by human interference and one of the last pristine wildernesses left on earth.  This hasn’t always been the case though. In 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed, banning dumping of radioactive waste and weapons testing, but in the 80s it was still under threat from mining.

In 1987 Greenpeace established the ‘World Park Base’ in Antarctica which stayed until 1991. The base was part of a global campaign involving millions of people to make Antarctica a ‘World Park’ and concluded successfully with an Environmental protocol to protect the landmass of the last (almost) untouched continent on this planet. Now we’re campaigning to protect the Antarctic Ocean.

The pictures from our archive are illustrations of the unsurpassed beauty of the home of about 40 million penguins and countless wildlife as well as of our history.



King Penguins can be seen on the sub-Antarctic Heard Island.
Passing an iceberg en route to Antarctica.
The World Park Antarctica banner is set up in 1987.
Greenpeace ship MV Greenpeace in the Antarctic in 1988.
Adélie Penguins are threatened by the airstrip construction at French Dumont D’Urville base in 1989.
The World Park Antarctica Base in 1989.
The World Park Base is resupplied during an expedition in 1989/90. The helicopter is landing on the base. The Greenpeace ship MV Gondwana can be seen in the background.
Ted Hood on the MV Greenpeace covered in ice during the 1992/93 expedition.
A campaigner samples and cleans up at the site of the Greenpeace World Park Base, Cape Evans during the 1992/93 Antarctica Expedition.
During the Greenpeace Antarctica Expedition in 1992, a banner commemorates the final removal of Greenpeace’s World Park Base.
A huge iceberg in the Southern Ocean.
Two Hourglass Dolphins breach. Rarely seen and little known, these are the only cetaceans to be taxonomically described from eyewitness accounts alone. Only six complete and 14 partial specimens have been examined by scientists – to see them from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza was a rare treat.
Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza on her route towards Antarctica encounters her first iceberg in 2007.
A Leopard Seal sits on hard ice sheets at sea.
An Emperor Penguin walks past a Greenpeace placard reading ‘Hands off Antarctica’ at Dumont D’Urville airstrip blockade.