Optical phenomena in Antarctica

AntarcticaAs if it were not enough, Antarctica not only defies known natural laws but the senses and perception as well. The famous “whitening phenomenon” generated by the characteristics of the ice terrain, is an optical phenomenon in which there are no shadows. The terrain is one of the main factors of this “White Darkness”. This phenomenon, harmless as it seems, is actually a high risk factor since it deprives one from the perception of depth, it is impossible to determine the distances because of the lack of references and, given the absence of shadows, it is impossible to see dangerous accidents in the land or the presence of cracks in the terrain.

Those who have witnessed this “White Darkness”, told that the feeling of total insecurity is absolute: the voices sound different, the silence is sepulchral, there are no winds and the mirages are quite common created by the solar light halos that go through the ice crystals floating in the atmosphere of this uncertain land.


Nevertheless, in the middle of this stillness, beauty unfolds in all its splendour before the eyes in a equally powerful way. The Austral Aurora is an irresistible spectacle in the sky; an optical phenomenon where green, yellow, red and blue shines, appear kilometres away from earth, in the ionosphere, created by the magnetic field and the solar winds.