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-- Two-Hour Self-Shot Special Following Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters’ Arctic Expedition Premieres Wednesday, December 9, from 9-11PM ET/PT --

November 11, 2015

Contact - Savannah Isner
Communications Coordinator
Contact - Tahli Kouperstein
Senior Director, Communications

The North Pole has captured the imagination of explorers for more than 100 years, but fewer than 50 people have ever completed the grueling, dangerous journey unsupported and unaided. And now the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, so the window to cross the ice to the majestic North Pole is closing quickly. In Animal Planet’s MELTING: LAST RACE TO THE POLE, Eric Larsen, one of the world’s most accomplished polar explorers, and Ryan Waters, a veteran extreme mountaineer, risk their lives to reach the North Pole before that opportunity is gone forever.


The two-hour special premieres Wednesday, December 9, from 9-11 PM ET/PT and provides a self-shot first-person account of the explorers’ unaided expedition to the North Pole – arguably the most dangerous, hostile place on Earth. Along the way, Eric and Ryan attack nature head on as they traverse through rapidly thinning ice and freezing-cold waters in an attempt to reach the North Pole faster than any of the explorers who previously have completed the trek. To reach their goal, the explorers must cover 480 brutal miles in a tight 48-day window while they pull everything they need to survive atop two 320-pound sleds. And that’s not all! They must also keep a terrified eye out for polar bears and thinning ice.


If Eric and Ryan can’t complete the expedition in time, they stand to make history in another way by possibly being the last people on Earth ever to complete this quest. With the icecap rapidly melting as a result of global warming, future expeditions to the Pole might prove impossible. In fact, scientists believe this region could become an open ocean within the next few decades. With huge trenches in the ice and cracked surfaces already forming, Eric and Ryan’s journey is an unpredictable, critical race against Mother Nature’s ticking clock.


“The Arctic Ocean sea ice is disappearing, and North Pole expeditions may not be possible in the near future,” says Eric Larsen. “MELTING: LAST RACE TO THE POLE is our attempt to tell the story of one of the last great frozen wildernesses left on the planet before it is forever gone.”


Exploring the swift changes in the Arctic can inform us on how the world responds to the ‘butterfly effect’ of global warming. These changes include rising sea levels, record heat and the disruption of the ecosystem and all the species living within it.


MELTING: LAST RACE TO THE POLE is produced for Animal Planet by High Noon Entertainment. For Animal Planet, Erin Wanner is executive producer. For High Noon Entertainment, Jim Berger, Scott Feeley and Glenna Stacer Sayles are executive producers.


About Animal Planet

Animal Planet, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. Animal Planet consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 94 million homes in the US; online assets, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; Animal Planet L!VE, the go-to digital destination for round-the-clock, unfiltered access to the animal kingdom; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service, and merchandising extensions.


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