Deception Island is one of the South Shetland Islands, located north of Antarctic Peninsula. The island has one of Antarctica's safest harbours. It is ring-shaped caldera, which is the top of an active volcano. The caldera's diameter is approx 15 km (9 ml). Neptune’s Bellows is the name of the narrow entrance to the harbor.
The island is the caldera of an active volcano that damaged local scientific stations in 1967 and in 1969. Previously, the isle held a whaling station. Today, it is a scientific outpost with Spanish and Argentine research bases on it.
The island is uninhabited but became a popular tourist destination in Antarctica due to its chinstrap penguin colonies and the possibility of making warm baths by digging into the sands of its beach. Wildlife is not abundant, but still, several breeding bird species can be seen on the cliffs. At the Bailey Head peninsula (outside western coast) can be seen about 50.000 Chinstrap Penguin pairs.
Mount Flora is the first Antarctic site where fossilized plants have been discovered. There is a geothermal activity that generates seawater temperatures of up to 70 C. Volcano's last eruptions were recorded in 1969.
On January 30, 2007, the Hurtigruten cruise ship MS Nordkapp ran aground off Deception Island's coast. As result from the grounding accident, fuel from the vessel washed into the bay. Ecological damage has not been determined yet. On February 4, 2007, Gabriel de Castilla research station reported that sand and water tests were clean.
Deception Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Deception Island anchor in the Port Foster bay. At Whalers Bay (near the Neptune’s Bellows entrance) still can be seen the remains of a British scientific station (evacuated after the last volcano eruption).
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