The sight of 50,000 king penguins on the Crozet Island Archipelago in the early 1980s sparked marine biologist James McClintock’s fascination with Antarctic fauna. Now a veteran of the extreme south, McClintock shares the otherworldly wonders unveiled by decades of research. The book is packed with joys, from soft-coral ‘trees’ that replant themselves to the snoozing Weddell seal, stinking of putrid fish, that the author encountered in a dive hut. Running like a chill current through all is the climate-driven decimation of the ice on which these ecosystems depend.