Ten fun facts about Antarctica


Fact 1
Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, emptiest, coldest place on earth. An ice sheet covers all but 2.4 percent of Antarctica's 14 million square kilometers.

Fact 2
Explorers first reached the South Pole in 1911.

Fact 3
Because Antarctica lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons there are the opposite of seasons in the north — summer runs from October to February and winter covers the remainder of the year.

Fact 4
The first confirmed sighting of the continent was in 1820.

Fact 5
About 70% of Earth’s fresh water is in the Antarctic ice cap.

Fact 6
There are no countries in Antarctica; the continent is governed by an international treaty (the Antarctic Treaty).

Fact 7
There are no permanent residents. But up to 1,000 people may be wintering over at various research stations.

Fact 8
There are lots of penguins, whales, seals, krill (the main food for whales), and even fish in Antarctica's waters, but there are no land mammals and, as far as scientists know, no native peoples.

Fact 9
Eskimos and polar bears are found in the Arctic, not the Antarctic.

Fact 10
Fifty million years ago Antarctica had a temperate climate, evergreen forests and many more kinds of animals than it has today.


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Short about Antarctica
is Earth's southernmost continent, containing the geographic South Pole.

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