From Buenos Aires to Berlin, Johannesburg to Washington DC, stunning papercraft penguin sculptures are popping up at tourist hot spots around the world.

The geometric models have been pictured using local transport and visiting national landmarks, including the White House, Gwanghwamun Gate in Seoul, Sydney Opera House, and the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. One was even photographed trying to board the Hogwarts Express at platform 9¾ in Kings Cross Station.

So why have these penguins wandered so far from home?

It’s all part of a new Greenpeace campaign to create an ocean sanctuary in the Antarctic. If realised, an area five times the size of Germany would be protected – making it the largest protected area on Earth.

“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.

The life-sized emperor penguin models were made by Wolfram Kampffmeyer, an artist based in Germany who created the incredible 3D animals out of paper.

Art director Emily Buchanan said: “We wanted to create sculptures that were both visually striking and realistic, showing how characterful and yet vulnerable these amazing creatures are. Wolfram captured this perfectly, combining the edginess of his computerised style with the intricate delicacy of papercraft. They’re hard to ignore, especially when found wandering around train stations.”

The campaign to protect the Antarctic begins at sea, with a Greenpeace expedition to document the vulnerability of the area and bolster the case for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. And with political decisions about whether to support the sanctuary being made in capital cities around the world, these paper penguins are helping to bring the Antarctic that bit closer to home.

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Taking in the sights and sounds of Tower Bridge in London, UK

Boarding the Hogwarts Express at Kings Cross Station, London, UK

Lapping up the attention at a train station in Washington DC, USA

Joining a protest outside the White House in Washington DC, USA

Taking a boat trip near the Sydney Opera House, Australia

A spot of sightseeing at Gwanghwamun Gate in Seoul, South Korea

Glad for colder climes in Stockholm, Sweden

Marvelling at the architecture of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

A little lost in Hamburg, Germany

Making friends in Hamburg, Germany

Perfecting poses at Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany

Enjoying the street art in Johannesburg, South Africa

Soaking up the vibe of the Boca district in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hitching a ride in New Dehli, India

Feeling at home in Oslo, Norway

Impressed by the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey