En route to a big wall climb in remote Queen Maud Land, where I assumed that nothing but birds and occasional people ever visited, we discovered this mummified crabeater seal – more than 100 miles inland and 5,000 feet above sea level. There is no way any Antarctic predator could have carried it here, because anything big enough can only swim, and neither could it have blown here, because the incessant winds here almost always howl away from the South Pole (hence the polished ice.)  The only explanation is that it propelled itself this far just through sheer perseverance and flipper-power. Talk about being tragically misguided!

© Gordon Wiltsie

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