What you can see while SCUBA Diving in Antarctica

One of the first questions people will ask often when you tell them that you will be Scuba Diving in Antarctica, after how cold was it?; will be : What did you see?

There are a variety of colours and textures to be seen scuba diving in Antarctica.

I was told I would see similar things to Port Philip Bay in Victoria - just Bigger! The sea life is similar to Southern Ocean diving off the coast of Australia. Sponges, Starfish, some with 30 arms, Shellfish are numerous and Kelp is very lush. Actual Fish Life seemed scarce when we were there, but it was around.


Usually 2-5cm across on most of my previous dives, Antarctica showed me this is one place the size of something really is BIG !An anemone we saw on one of our dives was at least 20-25cm across and maybe 40cm tall. It really was an impressive sight.

This Anenome is approximately 25 centimetres across and just as tall


Small molluscs can be seen in most dives sites and some sea slugs.

A giant Sea Slug at least 8 centimetres long

Ice Bergs

One of the attractions of Scuba Diving in Antarctica has to be The Bergs. They vary in size, texture, density and colour. Some rest on the sea bed in shallower waters. Some float freely. Some have darkened streaks through from the glacial movements they came from. Caution must be taken when diving around these large blocks of ice because they are dynamic and can shift with the wind, tides and melting.

Ice Bergs have sculptured textures underwater The Wall to Infinity.  Taken at 25 metres and looking down into the depths The darkened stripes are made from scraping along the ground and sea bed during glacial movements
  • Photo1. Ice Berg Textures up close.
  • Photo 2. At 25 metres, looking down the face of a berg with the discolouration from Algae
  • Photo 3. Shows dirt from the glacial path as it made its way to the oceans.


Time of year, dive site and local bird populations will affect the visibility of each dive. Our dive trip was at the Start of the Summer season so Plankton and Algae growth on the icebergs affected our visibility. Later in the year at the end of the Penguin breeding season, the run off from Penguin poo will be a major factor.

During Summer time the visibility can be fairly poor

Relatively Poor Visibility due to algae and plankton.


These critters are very curious and agile in the water and some divers said they saw them on at least one dive.


We didn't dive with any Seals but they were never really all that far away. Stay clear of the male Bull seals.