The “Greenland Big Five”

Obviously there are no lions, rhinos and zebras in Greenland – and polar bears are seen on Disko Island extremely rarely. Thus we had to create our own categories for a “best of” photocompetition:

1. Best iceberg

Our September stay has exposed us to never ending varieties of iceberg beauties, and catching the right angle and the right light has occupied our master photographers on boat rides and on trips to the beach near to the Arctic Station, which is where many an iceberg ends their existence.

Photo: A Altenberger

Icebergs, icebergs, icebergs – the vote for best iceberg photo fell on this one! Photo: Andreas Altenberger

2. Best whale

On our trip to the Arctic Station we had a stopover in Aasiaat, where a whale watching trip was one of the highlights. We followed a group of four humpback whales, icluding a “youngster”, for some time and they were really cooperative by coming close and showing different aspects of flippers, backs, and flukes.

Photo: J Egardt

One of the Aasiaat four – Jenny caught the moment just before the whale was diving down close to our boat. Photo: Jenny Egardt

3. Best polar light

Seeing polar lights was a “first time” for a number of us – thus Andreas and his “polar light app” were checked as regularly as the night skies. And then – at last – polar lights! But not all cameras showed to be equally useful…

Photo: A Mucharin

After a few nights in Greenland the conditions were perfect: Northern lights over the Arctic Station! Photo: Arom Mucharin

4. Best sledge dog (puppy)

Sledge dogs are ever-present in Greenlandic towns and villages. The adult dogs have to be chained to prevent them from roaming around and harm each other or even people. The young ones, however, can enjoy their lives and even though they usually are very cautious towards strangers, they are also curious. And incredibly cute!

Photo: A Mucharin

In Aasiaat, before even arriving at the Arctic Station, Arom met this cutie and managed to catch his interest. Photo: Arom Mucharin

5. Best Greenlandic fisherman/hunter

We found out that Greenlanders are not necessarily happy about being photographed by tourists –  like us. But getting to know them changes this considerably – especially if boats, fishing, or hunted-down seals are involved. Therefore our last category: Greenlandic fisherman/hunter.


Johannes and Søren – our two boatmen on the trip to Disko Fjord – in action on Arctic Station’s “jolle”. Johannes impressed our guys with unseen-before fishing and hunting abilities, and the ownership of a most striking mustache. Photo: Peter Kohnert

Finding the best

For this photo competition, everybody could hand in their best photo for each category and everybody could vote. In total there were 35 submissions. Arom (2 “best photos”), with her relatively simple compact camera, showed that often it is the choice of motive and not the advanced equipment that makes a good photo! Congratulations!

Photo: A Altenberger

Arom, Mari, Jeroen, Josefin, Sandra, Henning, and the puppies in Kangerluk.

But of course there were lots and lots of great photos also outside the categories and finally combining all photo material added up to more than 50 GB (!!) of photo material!

Written by: Christiane Todt (University Museum of Bergen)

Featured image: Iceberg hunters with their prey, by Henning.