East Antarctica: Ross Seals
Ross seals are one of the least known and rarely seen animals on earth. Less people have seen Ross seals then narwhals in the Arctic! Little is known about them and they are supposedly found only around the Ross Ice Shelf below New Zealand. They live in the thickest pack ice and thus very rarely visited or seen since few expeditions come to this part of Antarctica and even then they cant really penetrate the ice deep enough. But drumroll please – we saw three of the Ross seals, more then any other type of seal on this voyage and all three individuals were spectacular and on full display on ice floats right next to the ship. The expedition’s marine biologist probably experienced an orgasm seeing these. They are the smallest and cutest of the Antarctic seals – the adorable head sits on a neckless fat body that is silvery and shiny and covered with elaborate lines and spots. Very little is known about these seal – what they eat, where they swim, how they behave, and so on – even the guidebook usually have drawings for the instead of a photo. And another epic rare animal gets a check mark in my bucketlist.