Headed to Antarctica? Here are 10 facts to take with you!
#1: Antarctica is the 5th largest continent.
#2: Antarctica is technically considered a desert because it receives so little rainfall. The inner part of the continent receives less yearly precipitation than the Sahara desert.
#3: Antarctica really only has 2 seasons. Summer, with 24 hours of daylight, and winter, when the sun doesn’t reach the icy continent. The highest temperature recorded was 59F and the lowest temperature was -135.8F!
#4: The first human to reach the South Pole was the Norwegian explorer Amundsen in 1911.
#5: Antarctica is home to the world’s southernmost bar at Verdansky base.
#6: 90% of the world’s ice is found in Antarctica.
#7: Antarctica is the windiest place on earth. Gusts of up to 203 mi/hr have been recorded.
#8: 29 countries have research bases on Antarctica. Some of the bases are year-round: there are about 1100 people on the Antarctic bases during the winter months of June-August.
#9: Only microscopic animals and insects exist on the continent itself. The flora and fauna need to be small and low-lying to survive the cold and dry environment. The water is home to penguins, seals, and whales.
#10: The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 and established an international legal agreement covering topics such as environmental protection and scientific research.