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Deception Island, Antarctica

Deception Island
Deception Island

Deception Island is a volcanic island, part of the South Shetland chain, on Bransfield Strait, north of the tip of the Antarctic Pensinula. The island was first sighted in 1820 by the Antarctic explorer Edward Bransfield. A thriving whaling industry existed there in the early 1900s. The island is seismically very active, having last erupted in 1970. Its harbor, Port Foster, was formed during an earlier eruption when a section of the southeastern rim of the central caldera collapsed and was flooded by the sea. Port Foster has a narrow, shallow (11 m) opening to the south (Neptune's Bellows). The ruins of an abandoned whaling station, partially destroyed by past eruptions, are just inside Neptune's Bellows, on Whaler's Cove. Over a million penguins live in colonies on the outside of Deception Island during austral summer. Seasonally, Port Foster is home to fur seals, gentoo and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, and skuas. Because of the seismic activity, there are thermal vents and steaming beaches.