It was confirmed as a result of our coverage that the Polar Research Institute, a public institution that studies ecosystems in Antarctica, posted a thesis in a scientific journal, but withdrew it abruptly.

It is said that while studying seals, he wrote the thesis as if he had even seen birth scenes that he had not actually observed.

Reporter Jung Jun-ho was the sole reporter.


A Weddell seal with a round face, large black eyes, and spots all over the body.

They live mainly off the coast of Antarctica.

The Polar Research Institute, an affiliate of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, has been constantly observing seals inhabiting the Antarctic Jangbogo Science Station to track climate change.

Enlarging an image

In August of last year, the research team published a paper on the observation of seal twins in the online journal 'Polar Biology' of Springer, a leading scientific publisher.

The research team observed the seals every day from August to December 2019, during the breeding period, and wrote down the birth situation in detail, saying that on November 9, two were born in 5 minutes.

It contains a record of 12 days from birth to death of the rare seal twins.

The corresponding author of the thesis is Mr. A, a well-known penguin researcher in Korea.

But in January, the authors suddenly withdrew the paper.

It is a belated confirmation of the fact that the Antarctic researchers had never seen the birth scene at all, and only observed almost every day during the seal's birth, and most of them watched every week.

The Korean researchers who wrote the thesis based on the observation log explained that they had overinterpreted the data.

[Corresponding author A: (Observers) saw newly born twins.

You talked like this, so we misunderstood that we saw the birth process.

You're right, I should have confirmed it.

For that part, I feel responsible right now...


The Polar Research Institute confirmed this fact only in April, three months after the thesis was officially withdrawn, and announced that it has now set up an investigation committee to find out the truth.

(Video coverage: Jeon Gyeong-bae, video editing: Kim Kyung-yeon, VJ: Park Hyeon-woo)