The Akademik Fyodorov is a Russian research ship that's been to both the North Pole*, and to Antarctica. This time-lapse video packs an entire 201-day Antarctic expedition into 10 minutes, starting in Cape Town, South Africa, and traveling around the coastline of the Frozen Continent.
What happens? There's a lot of ice breaking—during which the Akademik Fyodorov seems to beach itself like a whale before backing up and ramming the ice again—and a lot of loading and unloading of cargo. It looks like the boat's mission was to resupply several inland research stations. At one point, a helicopter unloads the coffin of a man who died in a fire at one of those stations. The Akademik Fyodorov shipped his body back home.
There are frolicking penguins, the construction of an entire airplane, and (at about 7:19) the construction on an on-deck swimming pool, which is quickly filled with frolicking Russians.
Thanks to Sedgeman for Submitterating!
*On a 2007 trip to the Arctic, the Akedemik Fyodorov served as the base from which Russia launched the manned min-subs that planted a Russian flag on the ocean floor—symbolically, although not legally, claiming the North Pole and all its natural resources.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.