Svalbard, Norway

An interesting walrus skull lies on moss, while sunrise light shines into the skull from the right-hand side. A soft warmth surrounds this tranquil scene.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 17 July, 2023

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D X and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Exposure time: 1/125s
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 40mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4808 by 3205 pixels (WxH).

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An exotic walrus skull lies on moss. As we walked through this skeleton field on Moffen, we came across a walrus skull. Everywhere you looked, you could see walrus bones scattered across the surface. You had to be careful while on food, in case you walked into a walrus skeleton field you didn’t initially see. Thankfully the bones are not from poaching but mostly just from walruses, which have passed on from old age.

Exploring the island Moffen island in mid-September. During this time, you can go onto the island per foot. At other times you cannot go on the island at all. The approach during the summer (15th May to 15th September) has a limit to a minimum distance of 500 meters. Therefore, if a boat gets too close to the island, they will get a huge fine.

The reason Moffen officials are strict is because of the near-extinction of walruses in Svalbard in the mid 20th century. Moffen played an integral role in re-establishing the walruses, and their persistence continues today. Due to this hard work, you will often find more than 100 walruses on the southern tip of the island.

Walrus like the shallow waters as feeding grounds and have a resting place here.

The walrus is a species considered vulnerable on the IUCN list.

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1 comment for Walrus Skull Moffen Island

  1. Stephen

    Never have seen a walrus scull. It looks not to big. Beautiful light.

    • Anette Mossbacher

      Yes, it was not too big actually, right you are. That island was plastered with walrus skulls. It was strange to cross the island, we always had to look not to step on the bones. On the side, I picked up trash. Even in the Arctic, trash is floating in the sea! Thanks so much. 😀

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