Watch: 2 Months Of Breaking Antarctic Ice In 5 Minutes

Driving a super-powerful ice-breaking vessel through huge sheets of ice has never looked so serene.

To delve deep into the arctic or antarctic regions, you’ve got to have an icebreaker. Icebreakers are big, burly boats with a few adaptations to, well, break the ice that lies in front of them: a reinforced hull, a more pointed shape that’ll break and move the ice out of the way efficiently, and enough power to crush thick ice sheets.

Expeditions on icebreakers are usually pretty slow going; it’s not delicate work, but it is tedious, trudging forward, backing up, busting through a landscape of frozen ice floats and not much else. But it turns out that if you speed things up–like, a lot–it’s startlingly beautiful. This video from scientist and writer Cassandra Brooks, who’s on a long icebreaker journey and posting about it over at National Geographic, compresses a two-month journey into a mere five-minute video. Stick around until the end–there are some friendly faces!

National Geographic