London, UK – Stranger Things actor David Harbour has fulfilled his promise to the internet to dance with penguins in the Antarctic, following a Twitter challenge with Greenpeace which went viral, gaining over 200,000 retweets in just five hours. Today Greenpeace released video footage of Harbour dancing with the ‘guins.

This comes on the day that Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, scientists, and campaigners show rare footage of the Antarctic seafloor at a press conference in Berlin about the importance of marine protected areas in the Antarctic.

After shimmying the Hopper dance with nonplussed Gentoo penguins on a remote colony in the Antarctic Peninsula, Harbour said: “Protect the Antarctic. Thank you Greenpeace. Thank you internet. I’ve never had so much fun being humiliated.”

Harbour has joined a Greenpeace expedition which is in the Antarctic for three months conducting scientific research and campaigning for the creation of a vast Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to protect penguins, whales and seals. At 1.8 million square kilometres, five times the size of Germany, it would be the biggest protected area on Earth.

Boarding in Punta Arenas in Chile, Harbour braved a four-day transit across the notoriously rough Drake Passage, alongside Greenpeace’s first Antarctic Ambassador, singer and actor Alison Sudol, of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The expedition has already seen the first submarine dives to a part of the Antarctic seafloor never previously visited by humans, to study rare and vulnerable species, as well as hosting Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem who went down in the submarine himself to see the abundance of wildlife.

Speaking from a penguin colony near the Antarctic Peninsula, David Harbour said:

“When I first got on this trip I didn’t really care that much about it. It was kind of a joke to me. And the more I’m here the more I understand and sense and feel the majesty and the primal-ness of a place like this, that should be protected and kept pristine, so that it can ripple through to the rest of the world.

“It would be a shame if industry came in here and tapped it of its resources. I think there are places in the world that are meant to be left untouched, that can help in things like climate change and can help keep the world in balance.”

Speaking directly to the governments that will take the decision on whether or not to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, Alison Sudol said:

“You have the opportunity right now to preserve something that is still in good shape. Let’s not wait until there’s something like we see in many other parts of the world where there’s actual degradation. Right now the Antarctic is still pretty pristine. Do it now. Think ahead, while we can.”

Will McCallum, of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign, said:

“A rough four days of seasickness on the treacherous Drake Passage should be enough to convince anyone that David Harbour really, really, wanted to dance with penguins. There are so many threats facing Antarctic penguins, from climate change to the krill fishing industry. We’re doing everything we can to grow support for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, which would be the biggest protected area on Earth, from pioneering scientific research in submarines to internet lols with penguins. It’s been fantastic having Alison and David join us on our Antarctic expedition to help tell the world how important it is to protect this incredible place and its wildlife.”

ENDS

Photo and video:

See footage of the dance, including interviews with David Harbour and Alison Sudol, and Antarctic wildlife here: http://media.greenpeace.org/archive/Actor-David-Harbour-(Stranger-Things)-dances-with-penguins-in-Antarctica–plus-soundbites-from-Actor-Alison-Sudol-(Fabulous-Beasts).-27MZIFJXY630L.html

See photos of Antarctic ambassadors, including Harbour and Sudol onboard the ship, and the Greenpeace Antarctic expedition so far here:  http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJX9IE3D 

See further photo and video of the expedition here: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJXP8G0R 

Notes for editors:

The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise is on a three-month research expedition to the Antarctic, including seafloor submarine dives and sampling for plastic pollution, to highlight the urgent need to create the world’s largest protected area to safeguard fragile Antarctic ecosystems.

The proposal for the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, submitted by the EU, will be considered when the Antarctic Ocean Commission (CCAMLR) next convenes, in October 2018.

The petition to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has already gathered over a million signatures globally: http://protecttheantarctic.org

Media contacts:

Alexandra Sedgwick, Press Officer, Greenpeace UK, alexandra.sedgwick@greenpeace.org, +44 (0) 7773 043 386  

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)