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Things You Should Know About Elephant Island, Antarctica

Bindu swetha Jun 27, 2019
Named after the elephant seals that make Antartica their home, Elephant Island, is around 150 miles off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. If you are planning a trip to the island, then be ready to interact with ice-covered mountains and elephant seals! The place is uninhabited by humans; however, there are two human shelters for the researchers working.

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Elephant Island

How Was the Island Discovered?

The first Russian expedition was set out in 1821. That's when the crew of the ship came across the island. However, there's little or no evidence whether they actually viewed the island from the sea or just explored it.

In 1916, the British ship, Endurance set out to explore Antartica. However, the ship got famously stuck in ice and the crew was stranded.
Elephant Island became their only refuge. Perce Blackbrow, the youngest member of the Endurance crew was the first man to set foot on the island. As there wasn't any human intervention on the island, it was difficult to find the crew. With little food, the crew survived for 4 1/2 months on the island.

Transient Inhabitants

The island gets its name due to the presence of Elephant seals. One can hear the seals making large loud roaring noises, basically during the mating season. The island doesn't show any signs of vegetation. Occasionally seals and penguins stop at the island on their migratory routes, don't reside permanently on the island.

Historic Sites

The island has two historic sites - the Endurance Memorial Site and the wreckage boat in Hampson Cove. Possibly the SS Hampson, the wreckage of the wooden boat, is a designated historical monument. The Endurance Memorial site, honoring the Shackleton crew's fateful journey. There's also a bust of Captian Luis Pardo, who along with Shackleton saved the men.


In your wildest of dreams, if you are ever thinking of visiting the island, then you must board a specialized cruise ship. The main reason for the lack of voyage to the island is the extreme climate. The average temperature at the island is 0°C. Though climate change has affected the glaciers, a large part of the island is still covered by snow.
The only warmest period at the island is from January to February when the temperature is 1.5°C. During winters, the temperature can go down to -5°C.

Key Facts

The population at the island is 0! The only people you will find on the island are the researchers who camp at the island during summers.

The average climate on the island is foggy and snowy. The wind speed at the island is 100 miles per hour!

The island is under the claims of 3 countries - UK, Argentina, Chile. It is administered under the Antartic Treaty.