Every single one of us has a lot of selfies in the phone gallery! Everyone with a social media account has done a selfie at some point, and these photos have become a part of pop culture!
In fact, they are so popular, that even animals take them! When expeditioner Eddi Gault set his camera in Antarctica, he hoped it will capture some interesting moments, but he certainly did not expect a penguin selfie!
Back in 2018, the Australian was visiting Auster Rookery, a breeding ground for Emperor penguins, located near Mawson Station, one of Australia’s Antarctic research stations.
The organization explained that it “didn’t take long for the naturally curious birds to seize the opportunity for a selfie”. After he placed the camera on the ground, a group of the penguins gathered around it!
They are approaching, getting closer and closer, and they manage to knock the camera over.
Next, the face of one of them appears! It is quickly joined by another, and as they inspect the camera, they took some pretty amazing selfies!
The video was posted by the Australian Antarctic Division and it immediately went viral!
Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) are native to Antarctica. They are the largest of the 18 penguin species, being about 45 inches tall, and can weigh up to 88 pounds.
Yet, these black and white birds are spectacular in many ways!
Their bodies have adapted to the harsh weather conditions, and to conserve warmth and avoid the winds, they huddle! They even take turns spending time in the warmth of the inner circle, and when one of them is warmed up, it rotates to the outside of the huddle and allows another one to warm up.
What’s more, these penguins breed during the winter, and after the females lay their eggs, they leave for two months and travel up to 50 miles to the open ocean to feed. The males stay at home and watch over the eggs, covering them with a flap of skin to keep them warm.
When the mothers return, they feed the chicks, while the males, who haven’t eaten for 2 months, take off for their own hunting trip!
Auster Rookery is the home of thousands of breeding penguins, and it is one of 40 such colonies on Antarctica. The country’s strategic, scientific, environmental, and economic interests in the Antarctic are ensured by Australia’s Antarctic Division, which protects, administers, and researches the area.
According to the organization:
“Emperor penguin populations are projected to undergo a moderately rapid decline over the next three generations owing to the effects of projected climate change.
However, it should be noted that there is considerable uncertainty over future climatic changes and how these will impact the species.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently lists Emperor penguins as “near threatened”.