Antarctica, the southernmost continent and location of the South Pole, is a practically uninhabited, ice-covered land mass. Most mainland cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which extends all the way to South America. Antarctica is known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, impressive iceberg-lined walkways, and Port Lockroy, a former British research station that has become a museum. The isolated terrain of the peninsula is also home to abundant wildlife, including many penguins.
‘Antarctica’ derives from a Greek word which means ‘Opposed to the North’.
Antarctica is the 5th largest continent and is double the size of Australia.
Antarctica is bounded by the Southern Ocean.
Antarctica doesn’t have a capital city or an official language, and no country controls it.
Until 1840, it was not known whether the Antarctic was just ice or if there was land beneath.
The male emperor penguin is the only warm-blooded animal that stays in Antarctica through the winter.
Antarctica is the world’s largest desert.
Adele penguins live in Antarctica. They weight just 10 pounds and can dive up to 600 feet under water.
In Antarctica, Mount Vinson is the highest peak with a height of 16,066 feet.
Even though krills are about the size of small paper clip, krill swarms in Antarctica can be seen from space.
The total surface area of the Antarctica is about 14.2 million sq. km.
Antarctica is a surprisingly popular tourist destination, with nearly 40,000 people visiting each year.
Antarctica is also known as the White Continent.
A Russian exploration first spotted mainland Antarctica on January 27, 1820. It was the first confirmed sighting of Antarctica in history.
-89.2° C the lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere on Earth, in 1983 at Vostok Station.
The first recorded child born in Antarctica was Emile Marco Palma in January 1979. The country of Argentina sent Palma’s pregnant mother there in an effort to claim a portion of the Antarctic.
99% of the Antarctica is covered with ice.
British explorer Felicity Aston was the first person to ski across Antarctica. It took her 59 days between late 2011 and early 2012 to travel 1,084 miles (1,744 km).
Antarctica has no time zone.
There are Victoria’s Secret models from every continent except Antarctica.
Antarctica is the windiest, coldest and driest continent on the planet.
The most abundant land animal on Antarctica is the nematode worm.
2°F was the highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica.
There are no shrubs or trees on Antarctica.
Ice melting in Antarctica causes small shifts in gravity.
While you don’t need a visa to enter Antarctica, you do need a passport.
Antarctica contains about 90% of the world’s ice and about 70% of the world’s fresh water.
Antarctica is so cold that the water vapor in the air freezes and forms crystals, called diamond dust.
There are around 70 research stations across the Antarctica which represent 29 countries.
Antarctica is the least populated continent on Earth. In the winter, only 1,000 people live there, and in the summer there are 10,000 people.
For the last 2 million years, some areas of Antarctica has had no rain or snow.
In 1961, 53 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, which states that Antarctica is to be used for peaceful purposes only.
One of the biggest icebergs of Antarctica ‘Ross Iceberg’ was found in 2000.
Robert Scott, who, in the race to the South Pole, came in second, died just 11 miles from a pre-arranged supply depot. His only son, Peter, would later found the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The Taylor Glacier waterfall in Antarctica runs red blood.
After Australian astrophysicist Rodney Marks died under suspicious circumstances in Antarctica, he was dubbed the “first South Pole murder.”
Antarctica is larger than Australia and 3 times larger than Europe.
There are no reptiles in Antarctica.
Husky dogs are banned in Antarctica.