Before were allowed to do ANYTHING on Antarctica, we had a lecture on what we could and could not do while we were visiting. Even though everyone was ecologically conscientious, there were tons of things we had to do that none of us would have thought of on our own. We had to vacuum our jackets/pants/hats/bags/etc, so we wouldnt accidentally introduce an invasive plant or other organism. We had to decon our boots before and after every outing, so we wouldnt contaminate an island then spread that contamination everywhere.
Even something like filling in the holes in the snow, if you step off a trail and go waist deep– cause while we would laugh at that (‘lol ur stuck in the snow!’), a penguin might toddle over and fall in your boot hole… and be trapped. We all gasped in horror when they said that one, cause none of us would have thought of that.
There was also the matter of how to approach the animals we would encounter. Yes, there were penguins EVERYWHERE (even in my raccoon wounds!), but you couldnt just walk right up to them and start snuggling. You can crouch ~15 feet away. Now, since we had sparkly cameras and pretty colored clothes, the penguins would inevitably approach us.
The problem is, apparently, there are lots of people who really love penguins. They REALLY LOVE PENGUINS. And when presented with many penguins, in real life, like, right there, they FREAK OUT. They go nuts, rush the colony of penguins, screaming, and all hell breaks loose. ‘Penguin Madness’. Apparently this happens often enough that the tour guides actually stood between us and the penguins the first time we landed, LOL!
Happily, this particular kind of madness wasnt a problem for me. There were plenty of times when I was just wandering around, minding my own business, and a bunch of penguins would get real close and do something real cute 🙂
WARNING: There is nothing to hear on these videos except insanely loud wind. I suggest muting your computer before watching!
Here are some Gentoos leaving the water:
Here are some penguins getting into the water (they just fall over into the water. they just fall over. its hysterical. and their little TAILS!)
Here are some more Gentoos doing a courtship dance (SUPER CUTE!!!!):
And here are some Chinstraps just wandering by!
I mean, they were just everywhere. All the time.
One day, we were sitting at lunch, and one of the guys in our posse was real quiet.
Person 1: Whats the matter, Person 2?
Person 2: … …… If I see another penguin, Im going to shoot myself.
Whole Table: … LOL!!!!
The opposite of ‘Penguin Madness’. ‘Penguin Overload’. LOL!!!