The Gondwana Landmass

The narrator found himself aboard a Russian research vessel (Akademik Shokalskiy). He started his journey from Madras and crossed nine time zones, three water bodies to reach his destination. Upon reaching Antarctica, he was full of awe as to how big a mass of white snow Antarctica was.

The narrators reminisced that around six hundred and fifty million years ago, when humans were not evolved yet, the climate was warmer. However, by the time the dinosaurs were wiped out, the Gondwana landmass was forced to separate into countries.

According to the narrator, visiting Antarctica was a part of history. This place has quite frankly determined the future of earth (by deciding the shape and size of continents).

He talked about Cordilleran folds and pre-Cambrian granite shields. The narrator imagined if South America drifted to North America, opening the Drake Passage to create a cold circumpolar current. 

It was challenging for a sun-worshipping Indian like the narrator to survive in a cold place like Antarctica. The life there ranged from mites and midges to blue whales and icebergs. It was a silent place except for the occasional noise of avalanches.

Human Impact

According to the narrator, humans have created a ruckus by increasing the global temperature in a short amount of time (barely twelve thousand years). The answers to questions regarding the future of earth are in either way related to Antarctica.

The narrator worked with a programme called Students on Ice, which helped young students understand their planet’s history and importance. The reason behind the success of this programme was the fact that it made the students realise the effects of global warming realistically.

The narrator takes the example of phytoplankton, the sea’s grasses that sustained the entire southern food chain. The increased level of ozone depleting gases in the atmosphere would affect the food processing capacity of this phytoplankton, affecting the whole food chain. The narrator believes that big things will fall into their perfect place if we take care of small things.

Walk On The Ocean

It was a life-changing experience for the narrator when their ship was trapped between the Antarctic Circle’s ice sheets. The captain decided that they would have to walk through the ice sheets. The narrators explained them as the frozen sea. Those ice-sheets were a meter thick, and below them was cold water.

The narrator saw seals enjoying the sun as he walked on ice sheets. He wondered with awe to see the significant role of balance in the sustenance of life in mother nature. He wondered whether Antarctica would remain a cold place or a warm place it used to be in the distant past.