Back home: Passengers disembark from the icebreaker Aurora Australis on Wednesday at a harbor in Hobart, Australia. The ship brought 52 scientists and adventure tourists back to Australia from Antarctica, where the ship they had been on got stuck in ice. Rob Blakers /EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Rob Blakers /EPA/Landov

The Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xue Long broke free from ice and was back in the open waters off Antarctica on Tuesday. Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua/Landov

Morrie Fisher drinks at Mawson Station, an Australian base in East Antarctica, in 1957. Apparently, these sorts of amusements tend to pop up when you're bored in a barren landscape. Courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division

The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star, seen here in 1999, has been sent to help free Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which are gripped by Antarctic ice. U.S. Coast Guard Handout Photo/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption U.S. Coast Guard Handout Photo/Reuters /Landov

There's ice as far as the eye can see from the deck of the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which is stuck in the Antarctic. The captain says he and his crew can wait for conditions to improve. Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Zhang Jiansong /Xinhua /Landov

Help arrives: an image from video taken as a helicopter landed Thursday on an ice floe in the Antarctic. The copter then carried passengers from a stranded ship to another vessel waiting nearby in open waters. Intrepid Science hide caption

itoggle caption Intrepid Science

Nowhere to go: A view from the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in thick Antarctic ice 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia. Andrew Peacock/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Peacock/Australasian Antarctic Expedition/Footloose Fotography/AP

Stuck in the ice: The MV Akademik Shokalskiy. Chris Turney/Australasian Antarctic Expedition hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Turney/Australasian Antarctic Expedition

In Antarctica, Russian scientists posed at the site where they say they've drilled through to Lake Vostok. The sign indicates that the breakthrough happened on Feb. 5, 2012. Russia's Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring hide caption

itoggle caption Russia's Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring

While a team of Russian scientists were drilling ice core samples from their Vostok base in Antarctica, new satellite imagery revealed the outline of a lake the size of New Jersey buried two miles underneath the ice. It's thought to be the third largest lake on the planet. Earth Observatory/NASA hide caption

itoggle caption Earth Observatory/NASA