35 Bizarre Facts About Antarctica

Antarctica, the world’s southernmost continent and is a desert. There isn’t much rain or snow there. When it snows, the snow does not melt and accumulates over time to form large, thick sheets of ice known as ice sheets. Antarctica is covered in ice, which can be found in the form of glaciers, ice shelves, and icebergs. So have a look at these 35 Interesting facts about Antarctica.

  1. The Antarctic ice sheet contains 61 percent of all the fresh water on Earth.
  2. The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on our planet.
  3. It’s been estimated that some parts of the ice sheet is about 35 million years old.
  4. Antarctica is the largest desert on the planet earth covering the continent with a size of around 5.5 million square miles. The term desert includes subtropical deserts, polar deserts, cold winter, and cool coastal deserts.
  5. The ice sheet covers an area of almost 14 million square kilometers and contains 30 million cubic km of ice.
  6. Don Juan Pond in Antarctica is nearly 20 times as salty as the ocean. It’s so salty that heavy objects can float on it, and it remains a liquid down to temperatures of minus 53 degrees Celsius (minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
  7. Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles like snakes and crocodiles.
  8. The windiest place in the world is Port Martin of Antarctica.
  9. The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of valleys in the west of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. It is named so because of its extremely low humidity, lack of snow and ice cover. It also holds photosynthetic bacteria that have been found living in the relatively moist interiors of rocks.
  10. The continent is the windiest place on our planet earth. Scientists have examined wind speeds of more than 200 miles (320 km/hr) in some regions.
  11. If all the ice from Antarctica melted, the sea level would rise by approximately 290 feet(88.619 meters).
  12. The Transantarctic Mountains is the mountain range that divides the Antarctic continent into western (West Antarctica) and eastern (East Antarctica) regions. The Transantarctic Mountains stretch for more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from Victoria Land to the shores of the Weddell Sea.
  13. Antarctica is the 5th largest continent of our beloved planet, Earth.
  14. Approximately 99 percent of the continent is covered in ice.
  15. At its thickest point, the ice sheet is about 4,776 meters deep.
  16. It averages 2,160 meters thick, making Antarctica the highest continent.
  17. There are two active volcanoes in Antarctica. The first is Mount Erebus (due south of New Zealand) and Deception Island (southeast of Cape Horn, South America). Both these volcanoes are unique and showcase why Antarctic volcanoes are different from those found around the world.
  18. Gamburtsev Mountains range is in the eastern part of Antarctica and is fully covered in ice. The highest mountain peak in this mountain range is about 11,120 feet (3,390 meters). The mountain range stretches over 750-800 miles (1200 to 1300 km).
  19. Lake Vostok is the largest lake of Antarctica’s in almost 400 known subglacial lakes. The lake is buried underneath 2.5 miles (3.7 km) of solid ice.
  20. Mount Vision Peak is the highest mountain peak in the icy continent and stands at 4892 meters (16,050 ft).
  21. There is no particular time zone on the continent.
  22. The first confirmed siting of Antarctica happened on Jan 27, 1820, and is attributed to the Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev.
  23. A special treaty was signed by the United States and 12 other nations on Dec 1, 1959, for Antarctica. According to which the land of Antarctica should be used only for peaceful research. Now the 48 nations have signed the treaty.
  24. There are currently 70 permanent research stations scattered across Antarctica, which represent 29 countries from every continent on Earth.
  25. It’s estimated that there are up to 5,000 scientists and researchers living in Antarctica at the peak of the summer season, which lies from October to April. In winter, the number drops to approximately 1,000 scientific staff only.
  26. About 45,000 tourists visit Antarctica every summer season on the expedition cruise ships.
  27. The nematode worm is the most abandoned animal in Antarctica. Penguins are the most abandoned flightless birds on the continent.
  28. The high elevation of the East Antarctic Plateau and its proximity to the South Pole has the coldest climate than any region on Earth. The lowest air temperature ever measured by a weather station, minus 89 degrees Celsius (minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit), was recorded there at Russia’s Vostok Station in July 1983.
  29. The highest temperature recorded in the continent was 18.3C (64.9F) and was logged by the Argentina research base Esperanza.
  30. The dry valleys of Antarctica are the driest place on our planet. The valleys have not seen any rainfall or snowfall for over 2 million years.
  31. If you want to work in the continent, you must get remove your appendix as well as your wisdom tooth because no surgeries take place in the research centers.
  32. There are only two ATMs in the entire continent, and it dispenses only American currency.
  33. Villa Las Estrellas is a Chilean town in Antarctica that has all the basic amenities a town has. It has a school, hospital, internet facility, post office, television as well as mobile phone coverage.
  34. There are over 379 subglacial lakes in the continent, out of which Lake Vostok is the biggest lake which is covered in an area of 15,690 Km2.
  35. There are about seven churches on the land of this tremendous ice-covered continent.

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