Drake Passage viral video example.

Drake Passage

Updated Dec 07, 2022 at 05:06PM EST by Zach.

Added Dec 07, 2022 at 12:44PM EST by Phillip Hamilton.

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Drake Passage is one of the most treacherous bodies of water on earth, located between Cape Horn in South America, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It is the shortest route from Antarctica to another landmass, making it a popular route for adventurous travelers visiting Antarctica. The passage has strong currents as there is no landmass nearby, resulting in massive waves and rough conditions. Various videos about the Drake Passage began appearing on YouTube in the late 2000s, spreading over the following years. From late November through December 2022, multiple videos of people going through the Drake Passage while traveling to Antarctica went viral on TikTok, offering a first-hand look at the rough waves and dangers of the passage.


Drake Passage was given its name after 16th-century explorer Francis Drake during his circumnavigation, although he did not travel the passage, opting for a safer yet longer route through the Strait of Magellan.[1] In 1616, the first recorded voyage through the Drake Passage took place by Dutch navigator Jacob Le Maire with his ship Eendracht.[2]

Throughout the 2000s, numerous videos of voyages through the Drake Passage have been uploaded online. On March 15th, 2009, YouTuber[4] Hoosier Tim's Travel Videos posted a video crossing the Drake Passage, garnering over 640,000 views in 13 years (shown below, left). On April 6th, 2011, YouTuber[5] TravelChampion uploaded a similar video, garnering over 571,000 views in 11 years (shown below, right).


On February 20th, 2020, the JRE Clips YouTube[6] channel posted a clip of a conversation between Joe Rogan and Colin O’Brady, who talks to Rogan about rowing through the Drake Passage, garnering over 82,000 views in two years.

The Impossible Row

In January 2020, athlete Colin O'Brady rowed Drake Passage.[3] His journey was recorded for a Discovery Channel documentary titled The Impossible Row (trailer shown below).

TikTok Videos

In November 2022, travel TikTokers began going viral for videos where they document their travel across the Drake Passage on their way to Antarctica, also inspiring memes and reactions to the voyage. On November 22nd, 2022, TikToker[7] @dana.travelstheworld posted a video of the Drake Passage, garnering over 2.2 million views in two weeks (shown below, left). On November 28th, TikToker[8][9] @theworldpursuit posted a video of the Drake Passage waves hitting the window of their ship, garnering over 15 million views in a week (shown below, right). On the 30th they posted the same video with the original audio, garnering over 34 million views in the same span of time.

@dana.travelstheworld Getting rocked by the Drake Shake. Definitely one of my more terrifying experiences! #travel #quityourjob #ocean #antarctica #ship #drake #explore #adventure #traveltiktok #fyp #foryou ♬ Backsound Musik Tegang – Faid rafanda

@theworldpursuit A super relaxed journey to Antarctica #antarctica #drakepassage ♬ My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) – Maliheh Saeedi & Faraz Taali

On December 1st, TikToker[10] @mercermorrison posted a bait-and-switch video where he shows the @theworldpursuit footage, acts like he's about to give facts about the passage, then cuts to a song by Drake Bell from Drake and Josh, garnering over 7.8 million views in six days (shown below).

@mercermorrison #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo @Natasha Travels 🌍 #drakepassage #explorer #worldtravel #travel #drake #ifoundaway #myheartwillgoon #ship #cruiseship #drakeandjosh #drakebell #seas #southamerica #antartica ♬ original sound – Mercer Morrison

Videos about the Drake Passage were pushed by TikTok's For You Page for many, resulting in videos on TikTok[11][12] where people question why so many people are going to Antarctica right now (examples shown below).


Drake passage ?

♬ original sound – chris olsen fan

@isabellahill_ Some people fear nothing #antartica #drakepassage #fyp ♬ original sound – Bella hill

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