More than 85% glaciated, these remote mountainous islands are hidden in the Southern Ocean, some 600 km from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The archipelago is composed of four main islands: Coronation Island, Signy Island, Powell Island and Laurie Island. Discovered in 1821 by seal hunters, they were also explored in 1823 by the British navigator James Weddell, who gave them their current name. Despite the ravages caused by whale and seal hunting, today a sizeable leopard seal population can be found there, along with chinstrap penguins and snow petrels. Laurie Island is home to an old scientific station that is still in operation.