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Paul Nicklen

Co-founder of @Sea_Legacy and contributing photographer to National Geographic.

Emperor penguins may not have the ability of flight, but they sure look like they do as they rocket out of the sea after feeding on fish and krill. To get out of the water, these penguins sometimes must clear many feet of ice, which is made possible by their impressive swimming speed. Emperor penguins use an interesting tactic to increase their propulsion while underwater. Before entering the frigid waters, they raise their feathers to let air in. Once they dive and descend deeper into the ocean, the air volume under their feathers shrinks, so when they are ready to exit the water, they depress their feathers and utilize the compressed air to propel themselves towards the surface. This speed strategy is useful as they hurry to return home to feed their hungry chicks.


Just minutes old, a newborn elephant seal pup opens its eyes for the first time and greets its new world of ice, snow and wind in South Georgia, Antarctica. At birth elephant seals weigh approximately 50 pounds but within 3 weeks, it may reach an astonishing 400 pounds from its mothers rich milk. She will then wean her pup and head back to sea to replenish her own depleted resources.


This could be you in Dominica swimming with sperm whales with @CristinaMittermeier and me! For your chance to join us on our research expedition, support @Sea_Legacy and ENTER through the link in my bio or at


Of all of the species I have spent time in the sea with, pinnipeds have provided the most laughs. On this dive in the #GreatBearSea, dozens of very curious sea lions turned us all into giant chew toys. We had so much fun that it became a challenge to photograph them, because my mask kept filling with water from laughing so hard.


On this  #WorldOzoneDay, remember that at one point, scientists predicted that the ozone layer would collapse by 2050 with catastrophic consequence. But we, as a collective, stepped up to the plate and took on the responsibility of saving the depleting ozone by reducing our use of ozone-destroying substances. Today, the ozone hole is the smallest it has been in 30 years. But a full recovery will take decades. Let's continue to work hard and make changes so that the generations after us can live a healthy life in such beautiful places.


Every small voice. Every petition signature. Every tweet. Every photo or video posted with a heartfelt call for the betterment of humanity - they all add up. Thank you for standing with me in our efforts to #StopIcelandWhaling. I am filled with so much #Gratitude. Your voices were heard at the important and timely meeting of delegates from Iceland, Norway, Japan, and 76 other countries all around the world in the 67th International Whaling Commission meetings. Not only did we present the 205, 000 + signatures pledging to not travel to Iceland until the country permanently ends its government-sanctioned hunt of endangered fin whales, but we also supported efforts to reject Japan’s proposal to return to commercial whaling. And the results were clear with a 41 to 27 NO vote. Progress was made, but stay tuned; there’s much work to be done for whales. We need to keep the pressure on Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir to follow through on her promised investigation of the Icelandic whaling industry this fall. #TurningTheTide with @cristinamittermeier @sea_legacy @bluespherefoundation @oceanicpreservationsociety and legaSeas


I love watching the dedication, passion and commitment of emperor penguins. It is incredible to observe how nurturing and fascinated they are by their chicks. They seem to marvel at everything that they do.


The scariest part about my new book, Born to Ice, from @TeneuesPublishing, is that it could very easily become a record of things that we stand to lose. Narwhals are as vulnerable as polar bears, and as we lose sea ice – which is like soil in a garden – we are losing these animals’ habitats. The same thing goes for Antarctica. It’s really a message of art, science and conservation. This book leads with the art. It has to be powerful, beautiful, emotional, and from there, if people are open to it, they will ask themselves some questions about science, learn a little bit and then understand that we are all connected – and that's the conservation part of this book. Born to Ice, with foreword by @leonardodicaprio, is now available worldwide through TeNeues and Amazon. Link in bio.


A harbour seal seeks refuge in a forest of nereocystis kelp along the coast of British Columbia. We are working up and down this great coastal province gathering images necessary to help Justin Trudeau fulfill his promise of creating marine protected areas in a country that has the least protection among the G20 countries. We must help this country live up to its reputation of putting species and their habitats first. #nature #naturelovers #seal #instagood #love #beauty #smile #202020 #greatbear


Once we made the group decision to rescue the drowning bald eagle,we quietly but quickly moved towards it as it struggled in the strong ocean currents. Kelly Aspinall got a towel ready and grabbed it. We got it in the boat and firmly but gently restrained it from flapping around. Luckily, it wrapped its talons around the metal boat and just hung on. We quickly got it to shore and dropped it off. From a distance, we watched it fly off soon after. #eaglerescue


Home sweet home!! This view never gets old. #nature #gratitude


The rains have finally returned to the coast of British Columbia after a long summer’s drought. The creeks are filling up with water and the salmon who have been patiently waiting at the river mouth have headed upstream to spawn. Where there are salmon, there are bears, wolves and in this case, an eagle who will wait for a full bear to leave some remains. I love this time of year on this coast. On assignment for @sea_legacy #nature #baldeagle #bw #blackandwhite