While the White Continent is known for its snow, glaciers, and icebergs, Antarctica’s volcanic past is revealed through its incredible geological formations. Today, National Geographic Explorer steamed into the center of one of these geological wonders, the massive caldera known as Deception Island. Zodiacs shuttled guests to shore to explore the island’s geology up close, including a hike along the ridge of one of the volcano’s chimneys.

Later, we sailed to Edinburgh Hill, an incredible example of columnar basalt jutting out of the sea. These hexagonally-shaped columns formed as lava cooled at or near Antarctica’s surface. Similar columnar basalt can be found at Devils Postpile in California and Devils Tower in Wyoming, among other locations around the world.