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The empty drydock in Portal 2
"Our peers at Aperture Science were at work on a project of some promise, but in their rush to beat Black Mesa for funding, they must have compromised ordinary standards of risk. We heard their research vessel had simply disappeared. Vanished - with all hands... even part of the dry dock!"
Isaac Kleiner

The Borealis is a scientific research vessel owned by Aperture Science. It first appeared in Half-Life 2: Episode 2, but a reference to it can be found in Portal 2 as an easter egg hidden in Chapter 6. The easter egg is located in close proximity to the office in which Chell finds GLaDOS, embedded in a potato, being pecked by a bird.


The Borealis is an experiment ship that holds legends about the rivalry of Aperture and Black Mesa.

The Borealis is one of Aperture Science's experiments including an immensely big portal technology. Someday, the portal malfunctions and now is stuck somewhere in the arctic regions. As said by Dr. Kleiner that parts of the dry dock is carried away, this is partly false because when the player reaches the location, it is intact, partly. The cranes, tethers and any equipment linked to the ship is missing.


Portal 2

See also: Portal 2

In Chapter 6: The Fall, the Borealis' drydock can be found in Test Shaft 09, during the 1970s section. It is hidden behind a door in one of the offices and, while the drydock is empty, life preservers with the word 'Borealis' printed on them can still be seen.


  • Blueprints of the Borealis can be seen in Portal 2 Co-op, and appear to have been signed by GLaDOS herself.
  • The Borealis was originally to be featured in Half-Life 2, but was removed when its story arc was cut from the game.


Related Achievements

Portal 2

Ship Overboard
Ship Overboard
Discover the missing experiment