Desventuradas Islands Expedition

Picture of fish in Desventuradas Islands

Photograph by Enric Sala

The Desventuradas Islands (the 'unfortunate islands' in Spanish), located 530 miles off the coast of Chile, are one of the most mysterious and unknown places in the Eastern Pacific. San Ambrosio (uninhabited) and San Félix (with only a small garrison of the Chilean Navy) had likely never been filmed underwater, and there was very little scientific information about the underwater world of these islands. The Pristine Seas project identified the area surrounding the Desventuradas Islands as one of a handful of potentially pristine environments left in South America.

In February-March 2013, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala led an expedition to these remote islands in collaboration with partner Oceana Chile to explore, survey, and film this unknown world, from the surface to thousands of meters below.

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