Antarctica is very, very cold. Not too sure it would be all that fun to visit as it’s full of ice and snow.
Did you know that no one actually lives on this continent? It’s only visitors who go there!
Here are some more super cool facts on this unique continent!
Climate of Antarctica
Winter lasts from May to the end of August while summer starts in December and ends in February.
That’s not a very long summer is it, but it’s hardly surprising!
This is unbelievable. This is actually called a polar desert. What? A desert. Well the reason for this is that there is very little moisture in the air. If you’re working on the ice, you can actually become dehydrated.
Plants and Animals in Antarctica
Because of the extreme cold climate in this continent, there are generally not a lot of plants.
Of course the reason for this is that there isn’t a lot of sunlight and the soil isn’t particularly good for growing plants. There’s no moisture and of course there are always freezing temperatures.
But there are some plants that grow, but they’re in a very small part of Antarctica.
In this continent, some 25 species of liverworts and 100 species of mosses grow each year.
However, they only grow for a few weeks or maybe a few days in summer.
Although there are no humans Emperor Penguins have certainly been in Antarctica for quite a while.
They are the biggest penguins in the world and are about 3.5 feet (1 meter) tall.
Since there is hardly any area that is not covered with snow and ice, so there are no land mammals living in Antarctica.
The Belgica Antarctica is the largest insect species inhabiting Antarctica. Its length is about 1.3 cm (0.5 inch).
Ants occupy almost all the continents of the earth except Antarctica.
Water and Ice on Antarctica
Almost ninety percent of the clean water exists within the ice sheet of the Antarctic.
This is pretty cool. Back in 1994, a very rare lake was turned up beneath the Antarctic ice sheet which was 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep. It was named as Lake Vostok and was seen by radar. Wow!
The huge size of the ice sheets in Antarctic are so massive that in case it turns completely to liquid, it can easily flood cities of London, New York and Hong Kong.
The level of the sea waters will reach almost 220 feet (67 meters). Wow, that is quite something.
1/10th of our planet is covered with ice and out of these ninety percent of the ice is actually in Antarctica.
The entire continent of Antarctica is covered in snowfall and ice. Over 99% is snow. That is a lot of snow.
There is a pond in Antarctica that’s called Don Juan Pond where the saline (salt) level is so high that bulky things can easily hover over the water surface.
There is twenty times more salt in these waters than the ocean waters. Cool, maybe you could fly over in a hovercraft!
Interesting Facts about Antarctica
Emilio Palma, an Argentine national, is the first person to be born in Antarctica. He was born in January 7, 1978.
There are no local people in Antarctica which makes it a special continent in our planet.
In summer, once almost four thousand scientists live and work in Antarctica while one thousand in winter.
The experts are said to have pushed an iceberg to Peru from Antarctica and covered a distance of nearly 2,400 mile (2,862 kilometers). That is a very long way to push an iceberg!
The size of the biggest peak in Antarctica is nearly 16,066 feet (about 4,900 meters).
If the whole Antarctica’s ice melts down, the world’s oceans will rise by 60% to 70%.
Antarctica is the windiest continent on Earth. No wonder no one goes there!
The deepest ice in Antarctica measures about 4 kilometers (10 to 13 feet) thick.
Wow, Antarctica sure is an interesting continent. Do you think you would like to visit there?
Next: explore South America.