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Adventure travelers on tours of Antarctica don't have to be crazy to put on their bathing suits and jump in the water - as long as they are plunging into one of the geothermal lagoons on Deception Island.
Located at the southern end of the Shetland Islands, close to the Antarctic mainland, Deception Island is one of the world's most unique destinations. An ancient eruption blew the central portion of the island away, after which it flooded with water, so Deception is now a horseshoe-shaped island surrounding one of the world's safest natural harbors. But this harbor is also right over the mouth of the still-active volcano, and the water has been known to boil during eruptions.
More than half the island is permanent glacier, and springs flow between the inner harbor and the surrounding ocean. The volcanic activity has created some geothermal lakes, lagoons and pools, and the water temperature in Pendulum Cove is suitable for visitors to take a dip, though it's not quite deep enough for proper swimming.
Antarctic terns and petrels call the island home, but by far the most common native animal is the chinstrap penguin. Thousands live on the island's rocky slopes.
Deception has served as a whaling station and a base for explorers, and it remains a favored port of call for families and friends traveling together.
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