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Encounters at the End of the World
music playing NARRATOR: These images,taken under the ice off the Ross Sea inAntarctica, were the reason I wanted to go tothis continent. The pictures weretaken by a friend of mine, one ofthese expert divers. The best connectionis a military planes out of New Zealand, loadedwith chaineddown parts
of polar stations. Most of the passengers, headtucked into their laptops and their books, and manyof them were sleeping. Who were the peopleI was going to meet in Antarctica, atthe end of the worldé What were their dreamsé We flew into the unknown,a seemingly endless void. I was surprised that Iwas even on this plane.
The National Science Foundationhad invited me to Antarctica, even though I left no doubtthat I would not come up with another filmabout penguins. My questions about nature, Ilet them know, were different. I told them, I kept wonderingwhy is it that human beings put on masks or feathers toconceal their identity. And why do theysaddle horses and feel the urge to chase the bad guyé
Hi ho, Silver! NARRATOR: And why is itthat certain species of ants keep flocks of plantlice as slaves, to milk them fordroplets of sugaré I asked them, why is itthat a sophisticated animal like a chimp does notutilize inferior creatures. He could straddle a goat andride off into the sunset. Despite my oddquestions, I found myself
landing on the icerunway at McMurdo. For most of the australspring and summer, which lasts from Octoberthrough February, planes can land on theeightfootthick ice of the Ross Sea. In the distance, the mountainsof the Transantarctic Range. McMurdo itself issituated on an island. The Ross Sea is thelargest bay in the content.
This bay alone covers thesize of the state of Texas. On this very same frozen ocean,the early explorers' ship got wedged intomoving ice flows. Here, Shackleton's expeditionevacuates their vessel, which would later come to ruin,leaving them stranded there. Everything in this expectationwas doomed, including the first ancestorof the snowmobile. The idea was too big forthe technical possibilities