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An undersea cliffhanger

Once upon a time, before DVDs, before television, before movies were even in color, movie theaters used to run serials. (This was before I was born, but my parents told me about them.) These were series of short movies in which characters faced challenges and got in and out of difficult situations, and then back in again. Always back in again, because the movie would end with the hero or heroine facing peril—tied in front of a whirring buzz-saw, trapped in a dark cave, or hanging from a cliff. Every Saturday, theaters would run the next movie in the series, picking up the story where it had left off the previous Saturday. If you’ve been following Polar Discovery, perhaps you’ll agree that this expedition has sometimes seemed like a serial. That’s because the Arctic poses constant challenges to researchers—from hulking ice floes that snatch the cable on which your instrument hangs over the cliff of the ship’s bow, to a robotic underwater vehicles at first stranded at the bottom of the ocean and then potentially trapped beneath the ice. Who knows what will happen next?

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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