Human Polar Bear (04:25)
Lewis Pugh risks his life plunging into the world’s deadliest waters. He swims the Arctic Ocean in a Speedo and with no protective gear in the name of raising awareness of global warming. He discusses his motivation and shares plans for his next adventure.
Pond Inlet (08:14)
Pugh plans to visit Canada and Norway to gather evidence of climate change. At his first stop, he discusses changes in sea ice with Inuit elder Gamalial Kilukishak. Pugh also tracks endangered narwhal whales before taking a practice plunge.
Response to Global Warming (02:24)
World leaders are in denial of the impending global catastrophe. Pugh’s aim is to generate enough publicity to spur leaders into action; his previous swim in Antarctica prompted the Russians to create a Ross Sea wildlife preserve.
Changing Landscape of Svalbard (08:43)
Ice has retreated significantly since Pugh last visited 12 years ago. The Norwegian Polar Institute’s Geir Wing Gabrielsen and Katrine Husum describe how global warming has changed the landscape and impacted regional wildlife. Pugh's wife Antoinette Malherbe arrives.
Collapsing Ecosystems (07:24)
Scientists in Svalbard document a rapidly changing ecosystem that is on the verge of collapse. Eva Leu and Tom Brown study ice algae, the foundation of the regional food chain, which could disappear by 2030. Evan Richardson studies polar bears around Canada’s Hudson Bay.
Arctic Ocean Swim (02:53)
Pugh enters the final stages of mental and physical preparation. He considers life-threatening risk factors, which include drowning and hypothermia. He lingers “on the edge of life and death” to deliver an inspiring, symbolic message.
Plastic Pollution (02:47)
Pugh joins environmentalist Helga Bardsdatter Kristiansen who removes garbage from the waters around Svalbard. She removes plastic from the stomach of a dead seabird, highlighting the danger to marine wildlife.
Pugh Completes Challenge (08:23)
Pugh contemplates mortality in the hours leading up to the swim. He plunges into sub-zero waters, his strength ebbing as his body temperature plummets, and completes the mission. Pugh is more dedicated to his cause upon returning to Cape Town, South Africa.
Credits: Arctic Peril (00:39)
Credits: Arctic Peril
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