Antarctica | Amazing Facts

Antarctica Amazing Facts 4U

35 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Antarctica | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Antarctica is the fifth largest and the southernmost continent in the world.  Antarctica is covered by ice all throughout the year making it unsuitable for permanent inhabitation and livelihood.
  2. Because Antarctica lies in the southern hemisphere, the seasons there are the opposite of seasons in the north . Summer runs from October to February and winter covers the remainder of the year.
  3. Fact is Antarctica is the highest, windiest, emptiest place on earth. Antarctic is colder than the Arctic.
  4. Antarctica is the coldest place on earth average temperature being -56 degree F. The lowest temperature ever recorded was at Vostok Station (-89.20 C i.e. -128.60 F).
  5. Antarctica is almost entirely desert and is the driest place on earth . Very little snow or rain falls on the continent. Amazing fact is the Dry valley’ region on the continent has not received rainfall for 2 million years.
  6. It is called White Continent as it is completely frozen. In summer, Antarctica gets light all day while in winter it is total darkness.
  7. Phenomenon like aurora australis (glow in the night sky), diamond dust (cloud of tiny ice crystals) and sun dog (bright spot beside the sun) are observed in Antarctica.
  8. Amazing fact is that the Antarctic continent wasn’t even actually seen until 1820.
  9. Amazingly no man set foot in Antarctica until 1895.
  10. The South Pole is found in Antarctica. Ronald Amundsen, a Norwegian, was the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911.
  11. It’s amazing that Antarctica is bigger than Europe and almost double the size of Australia.
  12. Mt. Vinson Massif (4,892 m) is the highest peak of Antarctica. Mt. Erebus is the only active volcano in Antarctica.
  13. Fact is nobody owns Antarctica continent. There are no countries. It is governed by International treaty. The ‘Antarctic Treaty’ of 1959 designates Antarctica as ‘a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science’.
  14. Several minerals have been discovered in Antarctica but its commercial exploitation is banned until 2048 by the ‘Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty’.
  15. Amazingly Antarctica is the only continent without a time zone.
  16. Amazing fact is most of Antarctica is covered in ice over 1.6 km thick (1 mile). The ice can be more than 4 km thick in some places. Antarctica has 8 times more ice than the Arctic. The average thickness of ice sheet is around 2 km.
  17. Amazingly there are no permanent residents in Antarctica. Only temporary residents are around 1000 scientists .
  18. Antarctica has amazingly no trees or bushes. Vegetation on the continent is composed of mosses, lichen, and algae.
  19. Amazingly the Antarctic ice cap has 29 million cubic km of ice. This is 90% of all the ice on the planet and between 60 and 70 % of all of the world’s fresh water.
  20. Amazing fact is if Antarctica’s ice sheets melted, the worlds oceans would rise by 60 to 65 meters (200 ft)  around the world.
  21. About 70% of the total earth’s fresh water reserve is in the Antarctica ice cap.
  22. Antarctica accounts for 90% of the entire world’s ice.
  23. Antarctica is the best place in the world to find meteorites. Dark meteorites show up against the white expanse of ice and snow and don’t get covered by vegetation.
  24. One of the biggest icebergs which ever broke free was from the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica in 2000. It was amazing 295 km (183 miles) long and 37 km (23 miles) wide, with an area of 11,000 sq km (4,250 sq miles) above water  and 10 times bigger below.
  25. Amazing fact is when the Antarctic sea-ice begins to expand at the beginning of winter, it advances by around 40,000 sq miles (100,000 sq km) per day, and eventually doubles the size of Antarctica adding up to an extra 20 million sq km of ice around the land mass.
  26. Only about 1% of Antarctica is not covered by ice.
  27. Amazingly the number of breeding pairs of penguins in Antarctica is estimated to be 20 million.
  28. Antarctica has a peculiar group of fish called the ice fish. These have no red pigment  haemoglobin in their blood to carry oxygen around. They manage without it because the temperature is so low and oxygen dissolves better in cold temperatures. They just have a larger volume of clear blood instead and this gives them an unusually ghostly white colour, particularly their gills.
  29. There are no land mammals in Antarctica. Eskimos and polar bears are found only in the Arctic.
  30. Amazing fact is the largest land animal in Antarctica is an insect, a wingless midge, Belgica antarctica, less than 1.3 cm (0.5 in) long. They don’t fly (they’d get blown away). They look shiny black and hop like fleas living among penguin colonies.
  31. Fossils have been found in Antarctica which shows that once it was a warm and habitable place.
  32. Amazingly in 1981 a swarm of krill was tracked by US scientists that was estimated at being up to 10 million tonnes of krill! This is the equivalent of about 143 million people. Krill is the main food of the blue whales.
  33. Antarctica is the only continent with no native species of ants. Antarctica is also the only continent without any reptiles or snakes.
  34. Antarctica has more than 70 lakes that lie below the ice sheet. Lake Vostok is the largest among them. Lake Vostok may house life. Expeditions from several countries are currently drilling the 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) to reach this hidden gem.
  35. Antarctica, with its dry, clear skies, stable atmosphere and months of complete darkness, is one of the best places in the world to observe galaxies. The largest telescope in Antarctica is the South Pole Telescope.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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