On the most recent episode of BBC’s Frozen Planet, the film crew traveled to St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia. No, not as in Atlanta, Georgia – as in the island of South Georgia, all the way down by Antarctica. If you are like me and still scratching your head, here’s a map:
Do you know who lives this close to the South Pole? King Penguins! Lots of them! (Like Happy Feet, only real!) The BBC team went down there to film baby penguin chicks in their natural habitat and what they saw truly amazed them; more on that in a minute. Just to back track, this is what a baby chick looks like in regards to an adult King Penguin (in case you were confused as to why they aren’t wearing their trademark tuxedos).
King Penguin chicks have thick, fluffy feathers to protect them in winter temperatures on the sub-Antarctic island (which can fall to about 14°F), as opposed to the adults who have scale-like feathers that help them swim super-fast.
Okay, back to the amazing part. As the crew started filming some of the 400,000 penguins that call St. Andrew’s Bay home, they captured some never-before-seen footage. During the summer-time shoot, the crew expected to see the chicks splash around in the streams that come from melting glacier-water to stop themselves from overheating in the 60°F summer sun. Check out the extreme video footage, below:
Instead, the crew realized that the chicks, who don’t even know how to swim yet, avoid the dangerous streams that can whisk them out to sea. They prefer to cool off in spa-tastic mud baths! “I don’t think it’s been filmed before,” program producer Miles Barton told BBC. The penguins were filmed for the first time ever, rolling around in shallow, dark mud puddle pools to keep they’re body temperature down. These penguins really know how to pamper themselves with a refreshing spa day.
Sadly for us, BBC doesn’t recommend that we book a flight to South Georgia to enjoy this therapeutic penguin mud. “What you don’t want to know is what was in that pool,” said Barton. Brace yourselves, here’s the not-so-refreshing part: according to BBC, “the island is home to hundreds of thousands of penguins, so the beaches are covered with penguin waste and the remains – beaks, feathers, scales and bones – of dead birds… that pool was full of the rotted remains of dead penguins and tons of penguin poo.”
If you are looking for a more hygienic option for yourself, might we suggest you head over to SpaWeek.com and check out or monthly Spa Deals. All November long, spas all across the country are offering some great discounts on mud bath services that would make any King Penguin jealous. Brennan Massage & Spa in Brookfield, IL is offering a 90 Min Full Body Mud Wrap and Pure Restoration Facial Combo, which includes free Foot Scrub for $150, originally $190 or visit Viana Hotel & Spa in Westbury, NY offering an Earth and Sea Mud Wrap with Mini-Facial for $135. You’ll be lookin’ less like a penguin and more like international super model, Bar Refaeli, in no time.