The allure of Antarctica, a place still mysterious, untamed, and unspoiled, has beckoned tourists in increasing numbers as more and more people vie for a glimpse of its terrible beauty and stunning vistas. But there is one aspect of Antarctica they never see, perhaps the most interesting of all—the world beneath the ice. This book, a collection of the finest photographs ever taken underwater in deep Antarctica, illuminates a world brimming with strange and beautiful life forms. For the first time anywhere, Under Antarctic Ice brings together the stories, the science, and the natural beauty of one of earth's most vibrant and enchanting realms.
Internationally renowned photographer Norbert Wu was given unprecedented access to the icy waters off Antarctica by the U.S. National Science Foundation to obtain these dynamic photographs. In the extreme conditions that prevail in these seas, invertebrates can grow to enormous sizes: sponges are as big as bears, jellyfish tentacles extend thirty feet, and giant sea spiders crawl through beds of soft coral.
Wu has also focused his lens on the birds and mammals living at the edge of water and ice. We are humbled before mammoth icebergs, witness a killer whale stalking prey from a narrow crack in the ice, and see what penguins look like swimming underwater.
Jim Mastro's introductory text elegantly condenses forty years of scientific research into a clear and concise natural history of this unique place.
A Natural History of McMurdo sound
Under Antarctic Ice
Norbert Wu is a photographer and filmmaker specializing in marine environments and issues. His writing and photography have appeared in feature articles in Audubon, GEO, National Geographic, and other magazines; his films have aired on WNET/Thirteen New York's Nature series, which airs on PBS. His many books include Splendors of the Seas: The Photographs of Norbert Wu (1994) and Diving the World: Photographs by Norbert Wu (2003). Jim Mastro is a freelance writer and photographer. He is the author and photographer of Antarctica: A Year at the Bottom of the World (2002). He worked in Antarctica from 1982 to 1996, including five years as manager of the U.S. scientific diving program for the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.
"With his rare eye for stunning photographs and important biological stories, Norbert Wu offers the most spectacular collection of underwater images ever published for Antarctica. Jim Mastro gives virtuoso explanations of the biological or scientific context for each photo. Under Antarctic Ice is a remarkable collaboration between one of the world’s very best underwater photographers and a superb science writer."—Paul K. Dayton, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
"Working underwater in conditions of mind-numbing cold and often dangerously separated from the surface by six-foot- thick sheets of ice, Wu somehow managed to create photographs that transcend technical perfection to become art. This is an amazing book."—Howard Hall, natural history film producer and author of Secrets of the Ocean Realm and Successful Underwater Photography
"Antarctica literally takes your breath away, exciting the senses and quickening the heart with its austere beauty. So too with Norbert Wu’s images and Jim Mastro’s prose in Under Antarctic Ice. It is a remarkable underwater journey that takes you within a whisker’s breadth of diving Weddell seals, leaves you bobbing in awe in the wake of soaring emperor penguins, and invites you to join in their discoveries without ever having to get wet."—Terrie M. Williams, author of The Hunter’s Breath: On Expedition with the Weddell Seals of Antarctica
"This book is not only pleasing visually but is also an excellent reference source for the identification of common invertebrates and for photographic ideas. With its exceptional photographs and lucid text, it is about as close as you can come to visiting Antarctica without actually going there."—Gerald L. Kooyman, author of Diverse Divers: Physiology and Behavior