Deception Island is one of the most incredible islands on the planet. Deception Island 1 of the South Shetland Islands, in the Drake Passage, off the Antarctic Peninsula. The ring shaped island, is in fact the top of a volcano, a caldera. True to its name, Deception Island, is not what it seems. With its protected interior port, the horseshoe shaped land mass. The Caldera has a diameter of about 15 kilometres and has a narrow entrance on one side, Neptune’s Bellows. Through this spectacular passage ships can sail into the flooded crater, a unique phenomenon.
Only two volcanoes in Antarctica are active. There is Mount Erebus, which is roughly due south of New Zealand, and Deception Island, which lies about 850km south east of Cape Horn. The island, has also served as a whaling and seal hunting station from 1906 to 1931, and during World War II, as a British military base. Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom, each of which claims the island, all have operated stations there. This site contains an Introduction to this unique and fascinating island of fire and ice.
The Deception Island volcano is still active, inside the caldera there is geothermal activity; sea water temperatures of 70°C have been recorded. The islands, use is now administered, under the Antarctic Treaty System, and it is now a popular tourist, attraction as well as a scientific outpost. The giant iron boilers and tanks, of the long gone whalers, still stand, large holes cut in their sides as a deterrent to the Nazis, who were feared to have been planning to use them to store fuel. Chinstrap penguins, roam around everywhere, as the west side is home to one of the worlds largest, chinstrap rookeries.
Visit and you can see tens of thousands of chinstrap penguins, as well as rusting relics of the whaling era. You’ll also be able to experience one of life’s stranger sensations: a thermal bath on an Antarctic beach. Due to its volcanic status, Deception Island has heat hidden in its black sand beaches. Dig a hole and you can sit in steam while your toes freeze.
One of the more unusual things to indulge in while visiting the island is to take advantage of the natural hot springs. Due to its geological temperament, Deception Island has a number of micrometeorites, which means if you can get, past the biting, freezing Antarctic winds and into a volcanic bath, you can enjoy this snowy martian landscape in your swimsuit.