A Bath in Deception Island
Deception Island is a giant cauldron as the caldera of an active volcano. Escape the Arctic cold with a dip into one of the multiple natural hot springs, each of which is surrounded by glaciers, abandoned buildings, and a whole lot of penguins.
There is a reason that Antarctica is uninhabited. It is a very hard place to live–so wild and unpredictable. Those who have tried to stay are often surprised by what nature throws their way.
Visiting the isolated speck of Deception Island offers a haunting glimpse of Antarctica’s rare human history.
Once upon a time, the island was a Norwegian whaling station that later evolved into neighboring research bases. At first glance, the smooth ground and the black sand beach seem the ideal location for a quiet village, until you take into account that this whole island is the mouth of a volcano. The last real eruption happened in 1970, causing massive mudflows that buried the buildings on the beach and began the closing of the stations. Now this beach is a protected historic sight and a frequent stop for travelers in Antarctica.
Today, Deception Island is a tourist destination and the location for summertime scientific research. Visit and you can see tens of thousands of chinstrap penguins, as well as rust relics of the whaling era. You will also be able to experience one of life’s stranger sensations: a thermal bath on an Antarctic beach. Due to its volcanic status, there are many hot spots to be found around. In some areas, the water temperature can reach 70 °C (158 °F).
If you dig a hole in the ground, you can sit in steam while your head and toes slightly freeze.