Deception Island

One of the islands in the South Shetland Island chain, Deception island was formed by a volcanic crater, of which part of the outside edge of the crater collapsed, and the seawater rushed in.  So the center of this ex-volcano is now one of the largest natural harbors in the world, about 10 miles across.

The entry to the harbor required our ship to go through the very narrow break in the crater wall, which is called "Neptune's Bellows."

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There aren't many animals on Deception Island, though we did see this flock of about 250 cape petrels as we navigated our way through Neptune's Bellows:

The main tourist attraction here, is that there is still geothermal activity in the crater.  On parts of the internal beach, there are places where steam rises up through the sand, warming it up enough that you can actually go swimming (well, wading at least).
  Steam rising up from the water along the black sand beaches.

Page last updated: March 12, 1999

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