A desert 'oasis', amidst the ice, the McMurdo Dry Valleys are the largest ice-free area in Antarctica. Rock formations defy the winds spilling off the polar plateau; glaciers cease to flow and ablate in the dry air. During the brief summer lakes thaw around their edges, and rivers flow. Lost seals become mummified, but other microbial life continues. Hedgehog House photographers have been fascinated by the rock sculptures found in the valleys.
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