News from the Natural World: German tourist has beaten the crowds and already laid his beach towel down in Antarctica after the hottest day on record.
Helmut Meltin, an avid german traveler and beach aficionado has stunned the tourism world. He is the first person to reserve his place, through the traditional early laying of a beach towel, on Antartica’s premier beach. On February 9th 2020, Antartica had just experienced its single hottest day ever recorded. Temperatures hit a record high of 69.35 degrees Fahrenheit (20.75 degrees Celsius). This was an unprecedented record for the region and prompted Helmut into action;
“As soon as I heard the news, I knew that now was the time for action. If I didn’t go immediately I wouldn’t get place and I’d be stuck by the loos or a spot with no shade!”
Helmut sprung into action and booked his flights to Ushuaia in Argentina. He then boarded a long-distance ship transporting research scientists to an Antarctic Scientific Centre. He was heading for one of Antarctica’s top beaches on Cuverville Island. The beach is also home to the largest Gentoo penguin colony on the Antarctic Peninsula. It was covered in ice and edged by rocky outcrops under mossy cliffs. Helmut knew he’d made the right decision as soon as he arrived. He was the first one there and he picked out a prime position. Once he kicked a few penguins out of the way he settled down with a smug sense of deserved satisfaction.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling to be the first one here but I know I won’t be the last, I’m sure the hordes will arrive at any moment.”
Helmut did admit that the colony of Gentoo Penguins endless squawking was rather annoying;
“There are a lot of Gentoo Penguins but since I’ve arrived it’s been getting hotter and the Penguins are slowly dying. Their parents are finding it harder to feed as melting sea ice breaks off to form large icebergs. Then their chicks are left to exhaustion and die when heatwaves hit. Their lack of waterproofing means they are unable to cool down by going for a swim. So soon the Penguins will be gone and I’ll have the beach to myself.”
With the Antarctic being one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth, Helmut’s prophecy looks set to come true. Annual ice loss from the ice sheet has increased by a factor of six and penguin colonies all across the continent are under severe threat. Over exhaustion, starvation and freak weather spells bad news for the penguins but continued good news for Helmut.
After the hottest day on record in Antarctica, you too can reserve your spot on the beach.
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