This antifreeze raises the freezing point of liquid to keep it from freezing in the cold. Animal life is also plentiful in Antarctica, with Emperor Penguins being the most famous. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. It also helps nourish the continent’s rich marine life with its convection currents. Antarctica is the place where all the longitude lines meet, and hence, the South Pole has no specific time zone of its own. Over 30,000 people tourists visit the continent every year. Melting caused by the rising temperatures somewhat mild at present, but it is gradually increasing. The term Antarctic region refers to all area—oceanic, island, and continental—lying in the cold Antarctic climatic zone south of the Antarctic Convergence, an important boundary around 55° S, with little seasonal variability, where warm subtropical waters meet and mix with cold polar waters (see also polar ecosystem). Nearly 1000 years later, Europeans reached Antarctic waters. As a result, Montreal Protocol banned the use of CFCs in 1987. 50 Amazing Facts About Antarctica. Even doctors do research in Antarctica, such as how viruses work and how the human body adapts to such a harsh environment. Børge Ousland became the first man to cross Antarctica alone from 1996 to 1997. Everything to the west of the Weddell Sea but east of the Ross Sea is West Antarctica. While they both have a maximum length of about 10 meters, Colossal Squid can get heavier. Many of these lakes have connections to each other underground and exchange water between them. As of 2018, four small icebergs remain of Iceberg B-15 in the South Atlantic. 10. there are more than 300 lakes beneath the antarctic ice sheet; 11. mount erebus, the southernmost active volcano on earth is in antarctica; 12. in 1977, argentina sent a pregnant mother to antarctica in an effort to claim a portion of the continent; 13. antarctica does not have a time zone; 14. there are no countries in antarctica There are also known deposits of other metals like platinum, copper, chromium, nickel, and even gold. The name entered formal use in the 1890s, through the Scottish mapmaker John Bartholomew. East and West Antarctica are separated by the approximately 2,100-mile- (about 3,400-km-) long Transantarctic Mountains. Scientists call Antarctic animals’ natural antifreeze glycoproteins. From the name itself, Antarctica has a waterfall with what looks like blood gushing out. 1st known landing on continental Antarctica by American sealer Captain John Davis, though this is not acknowledged by all historians. Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the geographic south pole on December 14, 1911. Antarctica is about 5.5 million square miles (14.2 million square km) in size, and thick ice covers about 98 percent of the land. Between the continent’s position and the satellite’s orbits, and there’s a daily limit to how long they can use the satellites. The USA once built a small nuclear reactor in Antarctica to power the McMurdo Station in 1962. Its name comes from a US Congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson, in memory of his support for Antarctic expeditions. Antarctic ice fish are the only vertebrates with no red blood cells. History. Iron ore is also plentiful in the Princes Charles Mountains. They, too, are found only in the Arctic region! 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. Scientists say they live in the upper layers of the ice sheets, where they live in cycles of freezing and melting. This removes the risk of them developing appendicitis while in Antarctica. Instead, there is and abuncande of lichen and bacterial colonies. It sits on the very bottom of the globe, as far south as anyone can go. Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. 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. Surprisingly, there’s an international dialling code for Antarctica, which is +672. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD. Study shows that the Transantarctic Mountains have rich coal deposits. David Henry Lewis of New Zealand single-handedly sailed to Antarctica in 1972. No military, mining, or economic activity can take place on Antarctica by international law. Satellites and other remote-sensing technologies have become key tools in providing mapping data. Personal communications are the lowest priority, with people sometimes only getting as little as 10 minutes to access the network. She gave birth on January 7, 1978, to a healthy boy named Emilio Palma. Antarctica’s frozen landscape preserves meteorites that pass through the atmosphere very well. There are plenty of interesting facts about the southernmost continent. 40 research stations operate all year round. There is also evidence of rich oil and gas deposits in the waters around the continent. The same goes for most scientists and other people in Antarctica. 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. Antarctica is Earth’s southermost continent and contains the South Pole. Satellites are the only reliable way to communicate to and from Antarctica. Polar bears are exclusive to the Arctic. Both have a permanent population of less than a hundred people. Ever heard of tree rings? Antarctica’s undeveloped state means the skies above the continent are the clearest in the world. It’s not enough to make them self-sufficient, but it’s enough to keep them from being completely-dependent on supply shipments. 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. Emperor Penguins are only the most well-known of their kind. In the wild, they hunt birds, fish, and even their own kind. How’s that for Chilling Antarctica facts? Melting of ice sheets don’t add to ocean levels, as they’re already part of the global balance. The bar retains the old name of Faraday Bar, even after the rest of the station switched to a Ukrainian name. Despite the success of her pregnancy, Argentina’s claims remain contested by the international community. 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. Geographers mark the 60th Parallel as the Southern Ocean’s northern boundary, with its opposite being the Antarctic coast. Point your mental compass due South and test the extremes of your knowledge of Antarctica in this quiz. It is also the world’s highest, driest, windiest, coldest, and iciest continent. Out in the wilderness, it’s not a problem, since there’s nothing to burn. Air New Zealand Flight 901 was an aerial tour of Antarctica from Auckland. Belief in Antarctica’s existence goes back to the 1st century AD. Despite this, there’s been no development at all of the Antarctic lands, as per international treaty forbidding such development. One of the cooler Antarctica facts: Because Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world, its biodiversity is limited. How’s that for neat Antarctica Facts? Limited infrastructure, bad weather, and the fact that the Sun never rises in winter makes Antarctica unreachable in the winter season. According to studies, ships captained by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Edward Bransfield, and Nathaniel Palmer sighted the ice shelves of Antarctica in 1820. The Gamburtsev Mountains run for about 1,200 km across the continent in East Antarctica. Study shows the thickness of the ice is about 4 km to the lake’s surface. The marathon first took place in 1995 and continues to this day. It comes after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. Seals and penguins are bigger, but they spend much of their time in the water. How’s that for weird Antarctica facts? The increase in UV radiation caused cancer rates to spike. They were only supposed to fly over Antarctica for a few hours before returning to Auckland. 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. Predictions also showed UV radiation’s effect on harvests. Definitely one of the Antarctica facts you have to see for yourself. In a strange case of geography, the Transantarctic Mountains divide the continent roughly along the Greenwich Meridian. History. One internet user has compiled a list of the most interesting Antarctica facts. Is Antarctica a desert? The lake itself has an area of 12,500 km², and a volume of 12,500 km³. This also makes it the largest, land-only species in Antarctica. No lands break the relentless force of the prevailing west winds as they race clockwise around the continent, dragging westerly ocean currents along beneath. 21. Read also: Best 20 Facts about Asia History Landscape Cities More. The seal measured 4 meters long and weighed 449 kg. During winter, the Earth is always at its furthest from the Sun, while in summer, it is at its closest. 10 fun facts about Antarctica 1. In contrast, Colossal Squid weighs at most 500 kg, though recovered beaks point to specimens of up to 600 kg. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). While the terrestrial ecosystem contains more than a thousand known species of organisms, most of these are microorganisms. It means southern land in Latin. In fact, Antarctica’s landscape is what’s called a polar desert. The History of Antarctica. All life in Antarctica depends on the ice around the continent. The second reason is the way the Earth is positioned to the Sun. Now that’s one for cool Antarctica facts. Antarctica History. Lake Vostok isn’t an underground lake, but a subglacial one. Scientists feared dogs might spread diseases to native animals or treat them as prey, so they prohibited dogs to protect the continent’s biodiversity. At present, scientists say Mount Erebus is dormant but still monitor the volcano regardless. The collapse of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf in 2002 alarmed scientists as the beginning of a dangerous trend. The name goes back to ancient times when scholars theorized about a continent south of Africa and Asia. However, since 1994, dogs haven’t been allowed any longer in Antarctica. 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. There is little or no running water. That is warm water rises and cold water sinks, bringing nutrients with it across the levels of the water. You just have to know where to look, just like these Antarctica facts. Fact 1: Antarctica surrounds the South Pole and it is a place of extremes.The coldest, windiest and driest weather conditions occur there. Other animal life on Antarctica includes several species of seals, birds, and of course fish and shellfish. Instead, their blood plasma dissolves oxygen and carries it around in their bodies. Antarctica is the only continent without a time zone. This limits how cold it can get, as the water beneath will always be warmer than land in the same situation, like in Antarctica. From historical research, it was discovered that Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. 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. It might come as a disappointment, but that’s a definite example of Antarctica facts. As for tourism, it’s limited to aerial flyovers of parts of the continent, and limited time on the ground in designated areas. The name Antarctica is the romanized version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική (antarktiké). The Mount Erebus Disaster of November 28, 1979 took 237 passengers and 20 crew members’ lives. Photo: Audun Dahl. Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the geographic south pole on December 14, 1911. There is some truth to the urban legend, since doctors need to get their appendix removed before getting posted to Antarctica. 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. The course runs for over 42 km across King George Island. The new millennium saw tourism and (to a lesser extent) biological prospecting (the search for useful chemical compounds and genes in local species) become established sectors of the Antarctic economic landscape. Earth’s crust is divided into a series of plates, including the continents. 15 Interesting facts about Antarctica 1. This movement causes earthquakes, and is the reason why the Earth today looks nothing like it was millions of years ago. Studies conducted from 1957 to 2006 show that temperatures rose by 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade in those years. How’s that for cool Antarctica facts? That increase is enough to cause the permanent flooding of low-lying places such as New Orleans and the surrounding Mississippi River Delta. (1, 2) 2. For its part, vast forests like those in Northern Europe today covered West Antarctica. The average thickness of ice in Antarctica is about 1 mile (1.6 km). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chile has a civilian city in continent, hence with a school, hospital, hostel, post office, Internet , TV and mobile phone coverage. Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 expedition to Antarctica reached the magnetic south pole for the first time. Governments mandated many early expeditions—whether ostensibly economic, scientific, or exploratory in character—to make territorial claims. Geologists collect evidence and piece together Antarctica’s history from today back to when it was part of the Gondwana supercontinent. People usually picture penguins when they think about the animals in Antarctica. Despite all that, life still found a way to survive in such a hard land. There aren’t any grass, trees or similar plant life in Antarctica. NASA scientists snapped this pristine shot while flying over Antarctica in December 2012. 10 Fun Facts About Antarctica November 26, 2012. Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Antarctica that we’ve missed? 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. Captain Jorge Palma, led the Argentine Army detachment at Esperanza Base in Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula. Thicker areas called ice shelves stay frozen all the time. This mountain range has been dubbed the Ghost Mountains because its entirely buried under ice and snow. Does it have mountains? The native fish of Antarctic have lived and thrived in its extreme sea temperatures of +2°C and -2°C for 5 million years! Talk about shocking Antarctica facts. Their cute appearances in popular fiction, circuses, and marine parks make people think otherwise, but leopard seals are predators. Ice shelves, or ice sheets floating on the sea, cover many parts of the Ross and Weddell seas. The current also helps keep Antarctica cold, by keeping warm water from coming close. On average, the Antarctic cold reached -63°C. The treaty bound its members indefinitely, with a review of its provisions possible after 30 years. At least 17 other species of penguins live in Antarctica, including King Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, and the Adélie penguin. 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. They’re called the Eulagisca gigantea, or the Antarctic Scale Worm. All personnel sent to Antarctica see a dentist before leaving. Traveling at 40 km/h in the water, the seal caught Brown while she snorkeled underwater off Rothera Station. When there’s not enough water for them to live, the nematodes freeze themselves. 3. Instead, Antarctica is to be made available to all countries of the world for research purposes. 4. 1821 February the 7th. Thinner areas called ice sheets melt in summer only to freeze again in winter. 50 Snow Leopard Facts About The Ghost Of The Mountains, 50 Interesting South Africa Facts About The Rainbow Nation, Earth’s crust is divided into a series of plates, 100 Interesting Facts That Will Boggle Your Mind, 300 Random Facts No One Knows What To Do With, 100 Nutrition Facts To An Easier And Healthier Lifestyle, 100 Amazing Facts That Will Blow Your Mind, 300 WTF Facts That Will Make You Question Everything, 300 Weird Facts That Will Confuse And Amaze You At The Same Time, 100 Did You Know Facts Most People Have Never Heard About. Antarctica is an icy desert with very little rainfall throughout the year. 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. However, it’s the melting of the ice shelves that causes ocean levels to rise. In fact, the waters of the Antarctic continent teem with life. Others aren’t connected, with scientists saying such lakes are time capsules and home to life forms unchanged for millions of years. Here are facts about Antarctica for you: Facts about Antarctica 1: the size of Antarctica CFCs strongly-react with ozone, a special molecule of oxygen that prevents ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the surface. Updates? The ice-choked and stormy seas around Antarctica long hindered exploration by wooden-hulled ships. Chile and Argentina also have claims on Antarctica. These deep embayments of the southernmost Pacific and Atlantic oceans make the continent somewhat pear-shaped, dividing it into two unequal-sized parts. It’s not a volcanic peak, but a mountain formed by deformation of the continental landmass from geological processes. 100,000 tons of fish get caught every year in Antarctic waters: nations. Forests like those in northern Europe today covered West Antarctica the major geographic regions, ice sheets melt in,! 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