unbekannter Gast

The first "under ice" panorama in the world#

Victor Lyagushkin, members of the AirPano Team that is a member of the global-geography Consortium.

10 July 2013

with kind permission of AirPano

AirPano continues to present not only aerial panoramas but also shows the beauty of the underwater world of our planet. Our first underwater panorama had been created on Maldives islands, then the photographers of Phototeam.pro created an absolutely unique panorama in underwater Orda cave. Today we present the panorama taken under the ice of the White sea.

Now we would like to turn the floor over to Victor Lyagushkin, a person who created this panorama.

Ice diving has a special place among all other types of diving. During this process you can't surface where you want, you have to carry more equipment, and the temperature of air and water is much lower. Salt water freezes when temperature drops below zero, about minus two degrees to be more precise. Water in the White Sea reaches freezing point. This is why only a select few can do ice diving. As a result, there are fewer registered ice divers than there are cave divers. Arctic Circle Dive Centre is considered a global mecca for ice diving in the White Sea.

White whale or beluga
White whale or beluga

The White Sea (before the 17th century it had several Russian names: Studyonoe More, Solovetskoe More, Severnoe More, Spokoinoe More, Beliy Zaliv) is an almost landlocked extension of the Arctic Ocean in the northwestern Russia. In Scandinavian mythology the White Sea is known as the "Gandvik" and also as the "Bay of Serpents" because of its curved shoreline.

Diving under the ice in the White sea
Diving under the ice in the White sea

Some researchers believe that it was called "white" because it's covered by ice for the most part of the year (it's the only sea in Europe completely covered with ice in winter). Others believe that the name comes from the whitish color of the water that reflects the northern sky.

The White Sea was first called "the White Sea" (Mare Album) on the map drawn by Petrus Fiancius in 1592. On the Ptolemy's world map discovered in 1427 the Arctic Sea bay, which coordinates correspond to the White Sea, is called the Calm Sea.

Diving under the ice in the White sea
Diving under the ice in the White sea

Among the seas that surround Russia the White Sea is the second smallest one (the smallest one being the Sea of ??Azov).

The White Sea is one of the most beautiful seas in the northern part of Russia where nature is untouched by man, and animal life is rich and unique. Every winter in the Northern part of the White Sea Greenland seals make a rookery and by spring they give birth to white-coat seals. Uninhabited islands of the White Sea are the nesting ground for numerous bird colonies: in summer sea birds hatch their eggs and raise their young. The White Sea is a home to the white whale or beluga. These beauties that weigh over one and half ton are very sociable, good-natured, highly intelligent, and artistic.

Diving with belugas
Diving with belugas

The underwater world of the White Sea has beautiful landscapes and rich marine life: soft corals, sea anemones, sponges, starfish, crabs, hermit crabs, sea-urchins, and shrimps. In winter you can have a closer look at the following fish: catfish, redfish, flounder, and henfish. During ice diving when water visibility reaches 30-40 meters a diver can observe very beautiful landscapes: underwater rocks that go all the way into the deep, slightly swaying sea wares at the bottom, and piles of ice beneath the surface that look like ghostly castles.

White whale or beluga
White whale or beluga

Green water in this panorama is not the use of color corrector. The color is caused by microscopic planktonic algae that comprises the core of marine life. Plankton algae absorbs red light from sun rays, because they need it for photosynthesis. This is why sea water becomes green. And the more life there is in the sea, the more phytoplankton in the sea, the greener the water. That is why our White Sea is so green.

The White Sea. Life under the ice
The White Sea. Life under the ice

Photographer: Victor Lyagushkin. Phototeam.pro

Models: Bogdana Vashenko, Konstantin Novikov, Mikhail Safonov.

Nikon D3s, Subal housing (box), Nikkor 14-24/2.8

We would like to express our gratitude to Arctic Circle Diving Centre for help with organisation and Nikon company for technical support.

Panorama stitching and processing: AirPano



1 Panoramas of White_sea_under_ice_panorama