Elephant Island, Antarctica

Elephant Island is an ice-covered, mountainous island off the coast of Antarctica in the outer reaches of the South Shetland Islands in the Southern Ocean. Elephant Island’s name can be attributed to both its elephant head-like appearance and the sighting of elephant seals on its shores. While the island doesn’t support any significant flora or native fauna, migratory Gentoo penguins and seals may be found on its shores. Chinstrap penguins nest there in season. When the Endurance was crushed by the ice of the Weddell Sea, it is on Elephant Island in the South Shetlands that Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew sought refuge, floating on three small boats through mammoth icebergs and landing between steep cliffs. For 105 days, 22 members of the crew endured hardship as Shackleton pressed forth on a harrowing search for help. Here, expedition photographer, Frank Hurley, took his striking photo of the crew waving at Shackleton as he set off.