Antarctica Facts
Antarctica Facts

29 Interesting Antarctica Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published March 17, 2021
  • Antarctica contains about 90% of the world's ice and about 70% of the world's fresh water.[3]
  • With temperatures as low as  -128 F, Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth.[4]
  • Antarctica is the 5th largest continent and is double the size of Australia. However, it doesn't have a capital city or an official language, and no country controls it.[4]
  • Antarctica is a desert. It only gets about 2 inches of snow each year. The snow there is old, and it never melts.[4]
  • The male emperor penguin is the only warm-blooded animal that stays in Antarctica through the winter.[4]
  • Adele penguins live in Antarctica. They weight just 10 pounds and can dive up to 600 feet under water.[4]
  • Even though krill are about the size of small paper clip, krill swarms in Antarctica can be seen from space.[4]
  • Antarctica Krill Facts
    Krill is the Norwegian word for "whale food." They are the engine that fuels the Antarctic ecosystem.

  • Antarctica is a surprisingly popular tourist destination, with nearly 40,000 people visiting each year. However, because of COVID the numbers have dropped.[3]
  • Antarctica is the windiest continent on Earth, with wind speeds reaching 200 mph (320 km/h) in some places.[2]
  • The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on the planet.[2]
  • Ice covers 99% of Antarctica.[3]
  • The land looks like a fairy tale.

    - Roald Amundsen

  • The average thickness of Antarctica is about 1 mile (1.6 km).[3]
  • Antarctica has an area of 5.4 million square miles (14 million square km), including its islands and attached floating plains of ice.[3]
  • Mount Erebus on Antarctica is the southernmost active volcano on the planet.[3]
  • A Russian exploration first spotted mainland Antarctica on January 27, 1820. It was the first confirmed sighting of Antarctica in history.[3]
  • The first recorded child born in Antarctica was Emile Marco Palma in January 1979.  Argentina sent Palma's pregnant mother there in an effort to claim a portion of the Antarctic.[3]
  • 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).[5]
  • There are Victoria's Secret models from every continent except Antarctica.[4]
  • Antarctica Victoria Secret Models
    It's a bit chilly there for a swimsuit

  • The most abundant land animal on Antarctica is the nematode worm. Sorry penguins.[3]
  • There are no shrubs or trees on Antarctica.[3]
  • While you don't need a visa to enter Antarctica, you do need a passport.[1]
  • The largest wind-driven current in the world, the Circumpolar Current, flows clockwise around Antarctica. It helps move salt, nutrients, heat, and marine life over the world's main ocean basins.[4]
  • Robert Falcon Scott Facts
    Scott is thought to have died on March 29, 1912, or maybe a day later.
  • The first person to reach the South Pole was Norwegian Roald Amundsen. He beat English explorer Robert Falcon Scott when he planted the Norwegian flag there on December 14, 1911.[3]
  • Antarctica is so cold that the water vapor in the air freezes and forms crystals, called diamond dust.[3]
  • 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.[4]
  • In 1961, 53 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, which states that Antarctica is to be used for peaceful purposes only.[3]
  • 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).[1]
  • After Australian astrophysicist Rodney Marks died under suspicious circumstances in Antarctica, he was dubbed the "first South Pole murder."[1]
  • There are no reptiles in Antarctica.[1]

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