In the 18th and 19th centuries, hunters pushed the sub-Antarctic fur seal to the bring of extinction, prized as it was for its thick pelt. Today, the animals enjoy widespread protection.
Few places on Earth remain largely untouched and uninhabited by humans, but such spots exist in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a vast chain of volcanic mountains that have surfaced as tiny, isolated islands thousands of miles from any mainland. These worlds serve as both playgrounds and sanctuaries, where some species struggle and others thrive. Discover the secrets of these little-known oases as we explore eight islands, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.