An NGO Promised To Take Him To See Penguins In Antarctica — If He Got 200,000 Retweets

"The bottom of our blue planet may seem far away to many of us, but what happens there is crucial to all of our futures."

On Jan. 21, Stranger Things actor David Harbour tweeted at Greenpeace and asked how many retweets he would need to amass in order to journey to Antarctica on an expedition with their team and "tell emperor penguin couples I think they have terrific parenting ideologies." When the environmental organization, which is currently in the Antarctic campaigning for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, told Harbour he'd need over 200,000 retweets to see the penguins, he got to work.


Naturally, the 42-year-old appealed to his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and asked for the retweets Greenpeace requested. "I'm a giver. I give and I give. But now I need you," Harbour told his followers. "I need 200k retweets to go dance with penguins. Please. A man needs his 'guins."

Not surprisingly, Twitter came through for Harbour and delivered the 200,000+ retweets he needed in less than five hours. After thanking people for retweeting, Harbour declared his love for the Internet and told Greenpeace it was its turn to make a move. 

Much to Harbour's delight, the Amsterdam-based NGO then told the TV star to "get your thermals" and informed the expedition's captain they'd have another person soon joining them in Antarctica.

Kathy Hutchins /

In a video apparently recorded in or near Antarctica, ship Arctic Sunrise's chief mate Fernando formally extended an invitation to Harbour to join him and his crew on their February expedition to the penguin populated locale. Calling Harbour's Twitter campaign "amazing," Fernando said, "I invite you to come on our ship in Punta Arenas in the beginning of February and join our expedition to come to Antarctica and protect the biggest area in the world."

Though Harbour and Greenpeace clearly had a bit of fun with this campaign, it's worth noting that it has also brought significant attention to the vital work the organization is currently doing in Antarctica. According to a Greenpeace press release, the organization has teams on the ground in the Antarctic campaigning for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary covering 1.8 million square kilometers. 

The press release notes the proposal for the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary was submitted by the EU and is backed by the German government, and is expected to be considered when the Antarctic Ocean Commission next convenes in October 2018. In the meantime, Greenpeace's Antarctic expedition (which as Fernando noted, leaves from Chile) will run for three months from January to early April 2018.

If the sanctuary is created, not only will it provide a safe space for Harbour's beloved penguins, but it would also protect other vulnerable species as well. "This sanctuary would be a safe haven for penguins, whales and seals, and put the waters off-limits to the industrial fishing vessels sucking up the tiny shrimp-like krill on which Antarctic life relies," said Frida Bengtsson, head of Greenpeace's new Protect The Antarctic campaign, earlier this month.

"The bottom of our blue planet may seem far away to many of us, but what happens there is crucial to all of our futures. An Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would not only safeguard the unique penguins, whales and seals in this incredible area, but it will ensure the ocean is healthy enough to help mitigate against the worst effects of climate change," Bengtsson concluded. "When governments meet in October, they have the opportunity to create the largest protected area on Earth. Let's make it happen."

Cover image via Shutterstock /  vladsilver


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