It is also the world’s highest, driest, windiest, coldest, and iciest continent. 80% of the Earth’s freshwater is in Antarctica’s ice. Antarctica - Antarctica - History: Many nations were involved in the discovery and early exploration of Antarctica. The eruption was a gentle one, lava pooling in the volcano’s crater and flowing down its slopes many times over the years. During his stay, Rogozov developed appendicites. Captain Jorge Palma, led the Argentine Army detachment at Esperanza Base in Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula. At least 17 other species of penguins live in Antarctica, including King Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, and the Adélie penguin. They grow up to 20 cm long, and 10 cm wide. Instead, there is and abuncande of lichen and bacterial colonies. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD. Ten million years later, Gondwana began the enormously slow process of breaking into the pieces we recognize today, and the continents, subcontinent and islands began moving into their present positions. The course runs for over 42 km across King George Island. This success made him a celebrity in the Soviet Union, and earned him the Order of the Red Banner for Labor. Other scientists even hold classes for their specific fields of science to scientists from other fields. The Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship the Antarctic made the first landing on Antarctica in 1895. 15 Interesting Facts About Antarctica On the southernmost tip of the planet sits one of the world's most massive and mysterious landmasses: the frozen realm of Antarctica. This is then studied under a microscope. Antarctica Facts and Information 1) Where is Antarctica on the globe? With such low humidity and moisture on this portion of the continent, snow and ice cannot even accumulate, which leaves the valleys as just a dusty expanse of dirt. Antarctica only became covered in ice starting around 15 million years ago, as it drifted towards the Earth’s south pole. Antarctica is Earth’s southermost continent and contains the South Pole. With the lowest number of permanent residents in the country, Antarctica has to be one of the most amazing places which could be visited by humans. Read also: 10 South America Facts History Languages Nature More. In contrast, Colossal Squid weighs at most 500 kg, though recovered beaks point to specimens of up to 600 kg. Scientists are still unsure why the fish evolved this way, since it’s not an adaptation to cold environments. Aurora borealis, also known as northern or southern lights, appear as shimmering ribbons of light in the atmosphere. Despite all that, life still found a way to survive in such a hard land. The ice-choked and stormy seas around Antarctica long hindered exploration by wooden-hulled ships. How’s that for Chilling Antarctica facts? The most common animal in Antarctica are Nematodes or roundworms. 40 research stations operate all year round. The exploitation of these resources is not allowed under the Antarctic Treaty, but it is set to expire in 2048. Antarctic ice fish are the only vertebrates with no red blood cells. The most recent eruption was in 1972 and continued until 1992. You just have to know where to look, just like these Antarctica facts. Doctor Rogozov not only managed to remove his appendix but recovered fully. Antarctica Facts and Pictures Cool Fun Facts on the Antarctic and South Pole 1/ If Antarctica's ice sheets melted, all of the worlds oceans would rise by 60 to 65 meters (200 - 210ft) - everywhere. Iron ore is also plentiful in the Princes Charles Mountains. As for tourism, it’s limited to aerial flyovers of parts of the continent, and limited time on the ground in designated areas. To protect the environment, the band played in a private room, with sound and images broadcast to audiences across the continent. Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. No lands break the relentless force of the prevailing west winds as they race clockwise around the continent, dragging westerly ocean currents along beneath. *. 12 nations implemented the Antarctic Treaty System on June 23, 1961. With help from a driver and a meteorologist, the surgery lasted for 2 hours. Photo: Audun Dahl. Here are 15 facts about Antarctica and its wildlife that will leave you speechless: 1. Belief in Antarctica’s existence goes back to the 1st century AD. There is little or no running water. Layers of snow added on top of the ice sheet every winter tell a lot about what happened during that year, including volcanic eruptions, weather patterns, and even asteroid impacts. Compared this to the Grand Canyon, which is only about 446 km long, and 6 to 29 km wide, the West Antarctic Rift is much bigger. The Mount Erebus Disaster of November 28, 1979 took 237 passengers and 20 crew members’ lives. Wilkins Ice Shelf’s collapse from 2008 to 2009 followed the said trend. Here’s a particularly cool example of Antarctica facts: It even earned Metallica a world record as the only band to play in all 7 continents. 3. There are 70 research stations in Antarctica. They’re called the Eulagisca gigantea, or the Antarctic Scale Worm. Scientists also say there may be lakes they haven’t discovered yet under all the ice. Antarctica holds most of the world’s fresh water An incredible 60-90% of the world’s fresh water is locked in Antarctica’s vast ice sheet. Finally, Antarctica has a higher elevation than the Arctic, by about 3 km on average, helping make it colder than the Arctic. There is some truth to the urban legend, since doctors need to get their appendix removed before getting posted to Antarctica. All sightings are of the Antarctic Peninsula, the most northerly region of Antarctica. There are cracks and rifts in the ice, many of them hidden by thin ice that cover a fall of hundreds of meters. Fact 1: Antarctica surrounds the South Pole and it is a place of extremes.The coldest, windiest and driest weather conditions occur there. As of 2019, scientists say the hole is at its smallest since 1982. Scientists call Antarctic animals’ natural antifreeze glycoproteins. Antarctica’s clear atmosphere is well-suited for the study of background cosmic radiation and is home to the largest neutrino telescope in the world. 5. Antarctica’s frozen landscape preserves meteorites that pass through the atmosphere very well. This means the ice forms on top of the land instead of on top of the water, as is the case in much of the west. 2) Is Antarctica a continent? Scientists now know that the rift runs for over 3000 km, and spans around 700 km wide. Vostok means east in Russian. In addition, krill harvesting and other types of commercial fishing in the Southern Ocean expanded from the 1960s onwards. Maritime Antarctica—the islands and coasts—supports more life than inland Antarctica, and the surrounding ocean is as rich in life as the land is barren. Satellites and other remote-sensing technologies have become key tools in providing mapping data. There are no indigenous people in Antarctica. Between 1912 and 1913, scientists recorded the wind speed at Cape Denison station - the fastest recorded speed that year was 95mph (153km/h). Now there’s a fun example of Antarctica facts. This treaty, which was an unprecedented landmark in diplomacy, preserves the continent for nonmilitary scientific pursuits and placed Antarctica under an international regime that, for the treaty’s duration, holds all territorial claims in place. The largest of these fragments was Iceberg B-15A, with an area of 6,400 km². Home to the largest desert in the world; Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on Earth; The coldest temperature measured was -93.2°C (-133°F) Antarctica is an icy desert with very little rainfall throughout the year. They did this in hopes of claiming Antarctic soil as their territory. At present, scientists say Mount Erebus is dormant but still monitor the volcano regardless. It is the fifth-largest continent at 14,200,000 square kilometers (5,500,000 square miles). For example, when dinosaurs walked the Earth, East Antarctica was a land of ferns. Should the ice on this part of the continent melt, sea levels will rise by at least 3.3. meters. The most recent case was a huge jump in temperatures early in 2020. From the name itself, Antarctica has a waterfall with what looks like blood gushing out. However, this isn’t actually the case. We’ve mentioned before how ice melts and freezes in a cycle during Antarctic summers and winters. There’s no need for Antarctica to establish an official timezone, as the continent has no government nor citizens of its own. On average, the Antarctic cold reached -63°C. Anywhere else on the planet, wind speeds only reach this high during storms and similar weather phenomena. It means southern land in Latin. The Gamburtsev Mountains run for about 1,200 km across the continent in East Antarctica. In the winter of 1821, for the first time ever a party of men spent a winter in Antarctica. It sits on the very bottom of the globe, as far south as anyone can go. Thinner areas called ice sheets melt in summer only to freeze again in winter. Updates? The second reason is the way the Earth is positioned to the Sun. Of course, it depends on where in Antarctica. Science then replaced whaling and sealing as the primary year-round human activity in Antarctica. Starting from the incredibly drawn natural glaciers, largest icebergs, and uniquely created residential areas, this country is full of some exciting places and facts which can leave the person in complete shock. People usually picture penguins when they think about the animals in Antarctica. You only have to look. 90 percent of the world’s freshwater lies in Antarctica and 89 percent is in the form of ice and only 1 percent is flowing water. Antarctica is the driest continent of the seven continents. Also, it is considered that once Antarctica is as warm as modern California. In the wild, they hunt birds, fish, and even their own kind. The USA once built a small nuclear reactor in Antarctica to power the McMurdo Station in 1962. This was the first known human casualty of a leopard seal attack. There’s one for hopeful Antarctica facts. It starts and finishes at Bellingshausen Station, and runs past Artigas, Frei, and Great Wall Bases. The average thickness of ice in Antarctica is about 1 mile (1.6 km). All personnel sent to Antarctica see a dentist before leaving. With the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957–58, the present scale of scientific investigation of Antarctica began, and on December 1, 1959, the twelve countries that were active in Antarctica during the IGY signed the Antarctic Treaty. Around the Antarctic coast, shelves, glaciers, and ice sheets continually “calve,” or discharge, icebergs into the seas. One common chemical used in early refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners were chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). For comparison, Antarctica is roughly the size of the United States and Mexico combined or about 1.3 times as large as Europe. A 7-day cruise in Antarctica may cost from 7000 USD to 15.000 USD, excluding flights. Definitely one of the more mind-boggling Antarctica facts. Antarctica is the southernmost continent on the planet. The southernmost parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans converge into a cold oceanic water mass with unique biological and physical characteristics. These are fishing and tourism, and both are heavily regulated. A large part of Antarctica’s ice formations extends from the continent’s edges and over the surrounding ocean. Apparently, Antarctic squid are. Geographers mark the 60th Parallel as the Southern Ocean’s northern boundary, with its opposite being the Antarctic coast. Ever heard of tree rings? Study also shows that while the glacier has existed for around 400,000 years, the lake is older. The name Antarctica is the romanized version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική (antarktiké). Until the 1970s, scientists relied on ground-based geophysical techniques such as seismic surveys of the Antarctic ice sheets to reveal hidden mountain ranges and peaks. Those plates float on a thin layer of lava between the crust and the rest of the mantle. Antarctica Ecology Facts Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and brightest of the seven continents. This leaves the valleys a barren stretch of landscape without even ice or snow. The flat and unbroken central region of the continent allows winds to reach high speeds over vast distances. The same goes for most scientists and other people in Antarctica. This movement causes earthquakes, and is the reason why the Earth today looks nothing like it was millions of years ago. In fact, the waters of the Antarctic continent teem with life. That is warm water rises and cold water sinks, bringing nutrients with it across the levels of the water. Biologists study Antarctica’s unique biosphere with little to no signs of human interference. The familiar map boundaries of the continent known as Antarctica, defined as the South Polar landmass and all its nonfloating grounded ice, are subject to change with current and future climate change. This hypothesis draws from the way inland ice sheets stay unaffected by global warming so far. At their heaviest, Giant Squid only weighs at most 275 kg. Does it have mountains? The continent is a cold dry desert where access to water determines the abundance of life. Scientists and staff who stay in the winter often experience cabin fever, having to get creative to deal with the isolation. The rest of the continent make up East Antarctica. The Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship the Antarctic made the first landing on Antarctica in 1895. 15 Interesting facts about Antarctica 1. Sled dogs pulled the sleds and sleighs of the first explorers on Antarctica, and worked for scientists for decades. The only insect in Antarctica is called the Belgica Antarctica, or the Antarctic Midge. Limited infrastructure, bad weather, and the fact that the Sun never rises in winter makes Antarctica unreachable in the winter season. It's a windy place Antarctica holds the record for being the windiest place, all year-round, at sea level. Going back some 170 million years, Antarctica was part of a larger landmass, or supercontinent, which is referred to as Gondwana. Nearly 1000 years later, Europeans reached Antarctic waters. Bet you didn’t expect that from Antarctica facts? Chile and Argentina also have claims on Antarctica. Ice shelves, or ice sheets floating on the sea, cover many parts of the Ross and Weddell seas. If going in the opposite direction though, the current slows ships down. The continent is divided into East Antarctica (which is largely composed of a high ice-covered plateau) and West Antarctica (which is largely an ice sheet covering an archipelago of mountainous islands). The marathon first took place in 1995 and continues to this day. The researchers surveyed the ice … However, it’s the melting of the ice shelves that causes ocean levels to rise. As of 2018, four small icebergs remain of Iceberg B-15 in the South Atlantic. 5 x Fascinating Facts about Antarctica. The air surrounding Antarctica’s Dry Valleys is so low in humidity that even with the extreme cold, snow doesn’t fall. Traveling at 40 km/h in the water, the seal caught Brown while she snorkeled underwater off Rothera Station. With limited resources on the continent and the long trip to the nearest hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, it’s thought best to avoid the problem. However, another detail is how much this adds and subtracts to Antarctica’s surface area. It is so dry there is extremely low humidity and almost no snow or ice cover. A subsequent treaty, called the Madrid Protocol (adopted in 1991) prohibited mining, required evironmental impact assessments for new activities, and designated the continent as a natural reserve. Glaciologists study the Antarctic Ice Sheet, learning how it formed and how it affects the land under it. Geologists, geophysicists, glaciologists, biologists, and other scientists have mapped and visited all of the continent’s mountain regions. As a result, Rogozov had to do surgery on himself, with only limited anesthesia. Talk about shocking Antarctica facts. Even with how cold Antarctica is, the dryness of the air makes it easy for a fire to start and spread, and hard to extinguish. Scientists today are still unsure as to the worms’ diet. Antarctica is located in the fifth position of the largest continent in the world. Scientists feared dogs might spread diseases to native animals or treat them as prey, so they prohibited dogs to protect the continent’s biodiversity. Read also: 20 Facts about North America Society Nature History More. Definitely one of the more alarming Antarctica facts. Britain, France, and Norway, and both Australia and New Zealand own territories in Antarctica. Scientists say they live in the upper layers of the ice sheets, where they live in cycles of freezing and melting. Børge Ousland became the first man to cross Antarctica alone from 1996 to 1997. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of easily accessible resources, and isolation. This allows scientists to recover meteorites in largely-pristine states, all major finds for the study of astronomy. The icy expanse of Antarctica covers more than 5.4 million square miles, making it the fifth-largest continent in the world. They knew about the Arctic – named Arktos – The Bear, from the constellation the great bear, and decided that in order to balance the world there should be a similar cold southern land mass that was the same but the opposite “Ant - Arktos” - opposite The Bear. Earth’s crust is divided into a series of plates, including the continents. In fact, Antarctica’s landscape is what’s called a polar desert. Others aren’t connected, with scientists saying such lakes are time capsules and home to life forms unchanged for millions of years. This includes the shores of the sea, or on the slopes and vents of Antarctica’s volcanoes. In addition, many tourists have visited Antarctica, which has underscored the value of scenic resources in the continent’s economic development. Astronomy research in Antarctica studies both the visible universe, and the unobserved one. There’s one for ironic Antarctica facts. There is also evidence of rich oil and gas deposits in the waters around the continent. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf. It’s a small and flightless insect, measuring between 2 to 6 mm long. This higher elevation is partly due to the fact that most of Antarctica is in the east. No, it’s not actual ethylene glycol, which is poisonous. Definitely one of the more tragic Antarctica. Predictions also showed UV radiation’s effect on harvests. It’s called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, flowing from west to east around the continent. Polar bears are exclusive to the Arctic. Antarctica is seriously dry: The dry valleys of Antarctica make up the driest place on Earth. The other is Villa Las Estrellas on King George Island, founded by Chile. Ships use this current to move faster when going in the same direction. Knowledge about Antarctica has increased greatly since the IGY. Its landmass is almost wholly covered by a vast ice sheet. Instead, the people in the research stations on the continent use the time zones of their countries of origin. The “Antarctic Treaty” signed in 1961 stipulates that no country may exploit Antarctica economically or use it militarily. Personal communications are the lowest priority, with people sometimes only getting as little as 10 minutes to access the network. Out in the wilderness, it’s not a problem, since there’s nothing to burn. No, it’s not the one that sank the Titanic. History. How’s that for cool Antarctica facts? In fact, Antarctica’s landscape is what’s called a polar desert. It is one of the most amazing facts about Antarctica that will surprise you for sure. However, it poses a threat to research stations. (1, 2) 2. However, he was the only doctor in the station. Geologists collect evidence and piece together Antarctica’s history from today back to when it was part of the Gondwana supercontinent. This is the result of global warming, the heating of the planet as a whole by humans putting more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 10 Fun Facts About Antarctica November 26, 2012. Tourists go to Antarctica without having to lose any body part at all. It has the area at 5.4 million square miles or 14.0 million km square. If the dentist declares there’s a risk of major teeth issues in the time they’re planned to stay in Antarctica, then it must get resolved before departure. Is Antarctica a desert? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Icebreakers and aircraft now make access relatively easy, although still not without hazard in inclement conditions. East and West Antarctica are separated by the approximately 2,100-mile- (about 3,400-km-) long Transantarctic Mountains. It might come as a disappointment, but that’s a definite example of Antarctica facts. Even in summer, the temperature never rises above zero, while in winter the sun never rises. The reactor also provided heat to melt ice for water, and to purify wastewater for reuse. Explorers first reached the South Pole in 1911. The History of Antarctica. How’s that for neat Antarctica Facts? Animals with glycoproteins include the Antarctic eelpout, inland bacteria, and lichens. These lights are caused by high-energy particles from the Sun slipping through the Earth’s magnetic field and hitting the atmosphere. Emperor Penguins are only the most well-known of their kind. Your email address will not be published. Antarctica History. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? While they both have a maximum length of about 10 meters, Colossal Squid can get heavier. Metallica’s Antarctic concert took place at Carlini Station for an hour. Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Antarctica that we’ve missed? The Antarctica Marathon is held every year in February or March. How’s that for weird Antarctica facts? As it drifted north, Iceberg B-15 began breaking apart into smaller icebergs. According to studies, ships captained by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Edward Bransfield, and Nathaniel Palmer sighted the ice shelves of Antarctica in 1820. The Transantarctic Mountains, northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Other animal life on Antarctica includes several species of seals, birds, and of course fish and shellfish. Map of Antarctica highlighting the major geographic regions, ice sheets, and sites of several research stations. The name entered formal use in the 1890s, through the Scottish mapmaker John Bartholomew. Animal life is also plentiful in Antarctica, with Emperor Penguins being the most famous. CFCs strongly-react with ozone, a special molecule of oxygen that prevents ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the surface. In contrast, the coastal ice sheets and ice shelves melt more every year. However, the Grand Canyon is 1.9 km deep, while the West Antarctic Rift is only 1.5 km deep. Despite this, there’s been no development at all of the Antarctic lands, as per international treaty forbidding such development. Drones tend to disturb the wildlife, so they’re not allowed on the continent. The extreme cold also keeps other species like ants from ever surviving in Antarctica. During winter, the Earth is always at its furthest from the Sun, while in summer, it is at its closest. There’s a misconception that everyone who goes to Antarctica needs to have their appendix and wisdom teeth removed first. Its name comes from a US Congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson, in memory of his support for Antarctic expeditions. Definitely one of the Antarctica facts you have to see for yourself. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. This also makes it the largest, land-only species in Antarctica. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, Technological advancements in exploration, https://www.britannica.com/place/Antarctica, Official Site of Ulsan Metropolitan City, South Korea, Official Site of the Office of the United Nations High Commisioner For Refugees, Official Site of St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Antarctica, British Antarctic Survey - Discovering Antarctica, Antarctica - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Antarctica - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). It’s also called the Southern Ocean, distinct from the oceans to the north. The seal measured 4 meters long and weighed 449 kg. 30 other research stations only operate in the summer. Over 30,000 people tourists visit the continent every year. However, Antarctica is cold and dry, with little to no liquid water and life present. Department of Philosophy and History of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. This antifreeze raises the freezing point of liquid to keep it from freezing in the cold. But once there’s water, they defrost themselves and come back to life. Usually, they take the time for personal study, like learning new languages. It was the name given to the Soviet program that put the first man in space, and to a Russian exploration ship in the early-19th century. The continent was ice-free during most of its lengthy geologic history, and there is no reason to believe it will not become so again. Wisdom teeth removal depends on whether or not the dentist prescribes it. Scientists extract them by drilling down through an ice sheet and pulling out a solid core of ice. The treaty bound its members indefinitely, with a review of its provisions possible after 30 years. Decades of use of CFCs broke down enough ozone to open a hole in the ozone layer. Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about Antarctic region already in c. 350 B.C. Facts About Antarctica Ice melting in Antarctica has caused a small shift in gravity within the region. East Antarctica lies mostly in the east longitudes and is larger than West Antarctica, which lies wholly in the west longitudes. Antarctica’s distance from the rest of the world also means fewer contaminants to clog the sky. The Antarctic Ice Sheet averages a thickness of 1.9 km. Whether it’s snakes, lizards, or any other reptiles, you won’t find any of them in Antarctica. Everything to the west of the Weddell Sea but east of the Ross Sea is West Antarctica. The heat from under the Earth keeps their water liquid instead of freezing like the glaciers above them. For legal purposes of the Antarctic Treaty, the arbitrary boundary of latitude 60° S is used, south of which lies the Antarctic Treaty Area. The Dry Valleys in Antarctica are the driest places on earth. 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