Ice, Fire, and Penguins
Cape Royds penguin breeding colony is in the shadow of Mt Erebus, one of three volcanoes on Ross Island and the only active one. Antarctica Explorer James Clark Ross named two of the volcanoes after his ships, Erebus and Terror, as well as the island when he first visited this remarkable place in 1841. The lava lake in the crater of Mt Erebus is a steaming mass of molten lava which erupts on a regular basis spewing chunks of lava into the air. The plume is visible from almost anywhere on the island and is mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide. Undisturbed by its presence, the penguins take advantage of the small volcanic rocks near their colony to build their nests.
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Postcards from the Field: Antarctica