Articles - Edu Arctic

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A howling blizzard among the bleak scenery of a remote fishing town in Iceland. A police officer investigating a brutal murder. It’s probably enough to send a chill down your spine, but rest assured, it’s nothing but an extract from a mystery drama series “Trapped” (original title: “Ófærð”). After all, untamed Scandinavian wilderness is not only perfect for landscape photography, but also provides a suitably eerie setting for crime stories of the Nordic noir type.

Humpback whales, after being driven nearly to extinction, are making a steady comeback. They were hunted since the beginning of the 17th century for meat, oil and baleen.

Birds have long been a source of inspiration for the arts. One of the most common bird motifs found in maritime literature, adventure stories and travel journals is that of the albatross. The name comes from the Arabic al-qādūs or al-ḡaṭṭās, which might be translated as the diver. Linnaeus gave the albatross the generic Latin name Diomedea, which is a reference to the mythical Greek warrior Diomedes, after whose death his mourning companions were turned into birds.

Penguins are among the most popular animals on the planet. After all, what is there not to like about these cute, flightless inhabitants of Antarctica? Even though the birds are usually associated with cold regions, there are also species which enjoy warmer climate, like the Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus), endemic to the Galapagos Islands, or the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), which inhabits the southern tip of Africa.

Glaciers are usually perceived as gorgeous, if rather dangerous, white and blue components of polar and high-mountain landscapes. They store fresh water, reflect solar radiation and shape the functioning of marine and land ecosystems. Unfortunately, during the age of man, known as the Anthropocene, they are also becoming dumping grounds, repositories of pollutants, which our civilization generates as it develops.

Glaciers provide fertile ground for film productions. In “The Day After Tomorrow” the Earth is suddenly plunged into an ice age; “Snowpiercer” presents a futuristic vision of the world, where the remaining humans live their lives on a train darting across the frozen Earth; and the blood-chilling horror “The Thing” deals with an extraterrestrial "thing", dug out of the ice in Antarctica.