The Most Unusual Diving Spots: Spitsbergen and Falkland Islands

Looking for places where you can discover more of the underwater world? Are you one of the expert divers in search of a new diving spot? Well, if you are looking for unusual diving spots where you can see amazing things but also have an incredible experience, you are in the right place. 

In this article, we will uncover more about what diving means for so many people, but also about this amazing experience you can have in two of the most unusual diving spots. Even though they are thousands of kilometers away from each other, adding these destinations to your diving bucket list is a must-do. 

Traveling and seeing the world is one of the superb experiences that are granted to people by the evolution of societies and technology. A few hundreds of years back, people were not allowed to travel to remote islands in the ocean because there did not have any airplanes or airports. However, the domain of engineering has been developed tremendously. 

And slowly, commercial flights became available to the general public. Even though at first they were quite pricey, today’s world wonders that you have so many traveling platforms and airlines to choose from. These platforms even suggest the best, cheapest, or fastest route, so booking a plane ticket and going on an adventure is easier than ever. 

Diving Across the World

As traveling becomes widely accessible, so do the activities people are searching to practice or engage in during their holidays. Diving is one of these that is surging in popularity every year. There are a lot of diving places across the globe that offer you a ticket in the first row at the underwater spectacle. Every diving spot has its peculiarities, so diving in different places around the world will help you capture the characteristics of each area. 

For example, diving in the Red Sea will offer you an amazing view of colorful corals and fish, but you can also spot the manta ray of other marine fascinating creatures. Diving in the Great Coral Reef will offer you an extraordinary experience, although a big part of the Great Coral Reef is bleaching and dying. Protecting the places where you go diving is essential and not touching the fish, corals, or other marine creatures is essential. You are there to see not to harm them, and watching from a distance is the best approach. 

So, among the wonderful places in this world where you can go diving are Spitsbergen and the Falkland Islands. In almost completely opposite directions, Spitsbergen and the Falkland Islands are known diving spots that offer you an unusual experience. 

If you went diving into popular and touristic places, you should know that the experience on these islands will be completely different. While the Falkland Islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, Spitsbergen is in the Arctic Ocean, so the climate and temperature differences might be extreme. But they also depend on the season you go diving there. 

Wondering which one of these islands is the best to go diving? The answer is that both are. So, what should you expect to see here? How to reach the islands? What marine wildlife will you see in your diving expeditions? Read on to discover more about these remote and isolated islands that abound with wildlife. 

Spitsbergen 

Spitsbergen is part of the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, the only populated island in this archipelago. And its history is quite rich. You should know that more than half of Spitsbergen is covered in ice. At first, it was used as a whaling base, taking into consideration the long history of Norway and other Nordic countries in whale hunting. 

After it was used as a place to hunt whales in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was abandoned and then used as a place for coal mining. However, back in 1920, through a treaty, Norway was established as having sovereignty over this archipelago, and since this, it remained a zone without military and political conflicts. 

Spitsbergen is the only inhabited island of the archipelago and the one where you may find a few inhabitants. Taking into consideration that the climate is Arctic, living in these pretty extreme conditions might be challenging and difficult. 

But the wildlife is amazing here and in your diving expeditions, you can explore the wonderful underwater universe. Travelers should not forget that this is one of the most Nordic places on Earth, which means the polar night and midnight sun are two phenomena that happen. 

But even though these conditions seem extreme and not suited for a good drive session, in fact here you can see many animals, birds, and flowers that you cannot see in other places. 

brown seal on brown sand near body of water during daytime

The Best Time to Go Diving in Spitsbergen 

The average summer temperature here is 4 °C (39 °F) to 6 °C (43 °F) and during winter is −12 °C (10 °F) to −16 °C (3 °F). So, the best time to go diving in Spitsbergen is during summer. Here you can find a wide variety of expeditions, especially because due to warmer temperatures, the ice has melted and you can travel by boat. 

This makes diving accessible as you need to find a good place in the ocean where you have a higher chance of spotting the local marine wildlife. 

From May to July is the best period for polar diving in Spitsbergen, so make sure you take into account this detail when you book your trip. The underwater visibility is also nice, so you only need to pay attention and you will see many marine animals. 

Wildlife on Spitsbergen 

Even though it may seem that the Arctic climate is not suited for any form of life, nature and animals have developed coping mechanisms that help them survive this harsh climate. Reaching the diving point in Spitsbergen will take you across the island where you have a good chance to spot the local flora and fauna. 

For example, here you can see the Spitsbergen reindeer or the Arctic fox. These animal species were close to extinction, but hunting them is now allowed on the island. But the main attraction and one of the most imposing animals you can see here is the polar bear. They represent the major tourist attraction and one of the iconic animals of the island. 

At the same time, here you can spot about thirty different bird species if you visit the island during their migratory phase. During summer, when it is the best time to go diving, you can spot many seabirds here, among which the northern fulmar or the little auk and many other bird species. 

But what can you see underwater? Not only the polar bear is the major tourist attraction in Spitsbergen, but also the seals, whales, dolphins, or walruses. Being able to see them swim in the water and get close to you without any intention of hurting anyone is one of the most enriching feelings you may have. 

Diving here is safe, so no need to worry that you will be harmed during a diving expedition. However, seeing these animals on your diving trip is not always successful. You may need to have more than one diving attempt to increase the chances of seeing these wonderful animals in their natural habitat. 

white and black wolf on snow covered ground

Diving Conditions in Spitsbergen 

Because the climate here is so cold compared with other parts of the globe and the diving experience is totally different, diving cruises require those interested in diving to meet some conditions. For example, the diving experience is only for advanced divers that have at least 30 dives experience in cold water. On top of this, you are required to bring your gear as they offer you only the basic equipment. 

The Falkland Islands 

Moving on to the south of the globe, you will see the Falkland Islands. Near Argentina, they are a remote archipelago, a British territory, with a few over 2500 inhabitants. But the rugged landscape and amazing coastline offer you an impressive view. The Falkland Islands comprise 776 islets and islands where you can see incredible wildlife. 

However, the archipelago was long disputed by the UK and Argentina. Even though the islands were a base for the British, Spanish, Argentinian, or French military, the war of Falkland between the UK and Argentina was a disputed one. 

Argentinians have military invaded the territory which was the trigger of this war. However, the British occupation was instaurated only two months later, to the happiness and joy of the locals who want the archipelago to remain under British occupation. Even though the dispute is ongoing, this does not have any effect on tourism and the activities you can do here. 

ocean waves

The Best Time to Go Diving in The Falkland Islands 

Well, before going to the Falkland Islands, you should know here you will see amazing beaches with mesmerizing views. Some of their beaches are the most Instagrammed place, so prepare to see pristine seas and places. Mountains are simply rising from the sea and you can even swim with penguins. But you should know that if you think here you will find a warmer climate (compared with the northern Spitsbergen), expect to see a cold one too. 

The climate is humid and sunny days are pretty rare. During the winter cold and snow is something normal. Even though the temperatures rise a little bit during summer, the climate remains rainy and windy.

 Just as in Spitsbergen, here you will have about 8 hours of sun per day during summer, and about 2 hours during winter. The climate of the archipelago fluctuates, but not going higher than 24 °C (75 °F) or lower than −5 °C (23 °F). 

The best time to go diving in the Falkland Islands? During summer when temperatures are more bearable. If you have the luck to go diving on days when there is no wind or storm, you have a higher chance of spotting the animals as you have better visibility. 

penguin standing on brown sand during daytime

Wildlife on the Falkland Islands 

Just as in Spitsbergen, here you can spot a wild diversity of both terrestrial and marine wildlife. Because it is a remote island with few inhabitants, there are no megacities or skyscrapers built here. The islands are pretty wild and the locals have managed to co-exist peacefully with the wildlife you can spot here. 

The Falkland Islands are the best spot for wildlife photographers, who can see here a wide diversity of bird species, incredible flora, and many other wild animals. Back in 1876, the wannah also known as the Falkland wolf was hunted to extinction. 

Even though it was the only native mammal of the islands, many other animals come here yearly to nest. Here you can see many arthropods, as well as over 60 bird species, many of which are endemic. 

Even though the major part of the archipelago is used for sheep as pasture, here you can spot many other animals such as hares, rats, foxes, and reindeers. However, these species were introduced to the islands which threatened the local flora and fauna and the government tries to keep the reproduction of these species under control. 

But what can you see in your diving expedition? Well, there is a wide diversity of marine animals you can spot here. There are five different species of penguins, as well as the southern seal and fur seal. In your diving trip, you can spot at least nine different dolphin species, as well as orcas (known also as killer whales), minke whales, fin whales, sperm whales, and sei whales, one of the species that is endangered and typical to the Falkland Islands. 

Besides all these, here you can see large populations of black-browed albatrosses, striated caracara, or dolphin gulls. Visiting the Falkland Islands will be an experience that will leave you more aware of the incredible biodiversity that exists here. Seeing whales, seals, and dolphins in their natural habitat can inspire more people to give up visiting marine aquariums. 

Diving Conditions in the Falkland Islands 

The diving conditions in the Falkland Islands are pretty different from the Spitsbergen. Here you can dive with an instructor by your side and discover the wonderful underwater world. However, you should know that you need to have diving experience as these diving courses only mean to help you practice your skills. You can practice buoyancy and specialize in a type of diving. 

However, if you do not meet their requirements, you should know that on the Falkland Islands you can find one of the most amazing snorkeling spots, so you still can discover the amazing underwater universe. Besides the incredible marine life you will spot here in your diving expedition, you can also see some shipwrecks. 

You may also be able to find courses that help you get your first scuba diving certification. During these courses, you will be trained and learn how to approach marine life, how to use the diving equipment, and also handle some of the most common problems that might appear during your diving. You get a certification and you are taught by a professional diver, so this is the chance to get your first diving certification. What better place to discover the underwater universe and marine life than in the Falkland Islands?

However, the success of your diving expedition depends mainly on the weather conditions. If the weather is stormy, windy, and rainy, the water will not be clear enough, says a writer from write my assignment, who offers biodiversity essay advice to students around the world and an inhabitant of the islands. 

Conclusion

Our planet has a lot of incredible places with lush vegetation, diverse flora, and that abounds with wildlife. The biodiversity of this planet is amazing and discovering beautiful places on Earth is the goal of many people. Some places are well known for their tourist attractions. Those who are easily accessible, are also cheaper and more visited by tourists. 

But Spitsbergen and the Falkland Islands do not fall in this category. Their harsh and cold climate keeps the majority of visitors away, even though the islands abound with wildlife. Summer is the best time to go diving in these unusual places, a season with warmer temperatures and clearer water. 

And you will be amazed! The flora and fauna, but also the marine life in these places are simply mesmerizing. You will not regret visiting and diving into these places. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your expedition. 

Bio lines: Charles Normandin writes unique articles for BrillAssignment. He is a professional in writing unique texts and also speaks 3 languages at a high level. He is fond of volunteering, drawing, and rock climbing. In his view, days spent helping animals at the shelter make their life better. He loves spending his spare time reading more about the biodiversity of specific places and planning expedition trips to observe those species in their natural habitat. Meet him on Twitter @Charles60104524.

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