Emperor penguins are among the most enduring creatures alive. In temperatures as low as minus eighty degrees Celsius, the males go without food for up to four months in total darkness during winter while keeping the eggs warm by placing them between their bellies and their feet. Intrepid photographer Pål Hermansen caught up with them during the Antarctic spring, when the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov was able to get close to the colony.
“Most of my polar experience is from the Arctic”, said 56 year old Pål “but this was my second time in Antarctica. At the time for my visit, most of the chicks were grown so much that they could make their own way around. But we found a few small ones that still rested on the feet of the parents. This highly attractive pose is rarely depicted, as most photographers have visited the colonies later in the season. There is obviously some kind of kindergarten activity going on.”