Antarctica | archiboldclutterbuck

Discover fascinating fun facts about Antarctica, it's geography, animals and much more below...

Population: 0 permanent residents

 No. Countries: 0

Highest Point: Mt Vinson 4892m

Largest Glacier:  Lambert 400km long

Average ice thickness: 1.9km

Coldest Temperature: -89.2°C

THE COUNTRIES OF ANTARCTICA

None - Antarctica is governed by 53 countries as part of the Antarctic Treaty System:

DID YOU KNOW?

90% of the world's ice is found in Antarctica!

QUICK FACTS ABOUT ANTARCTICA

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Belarus

Belgium

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

China

Cuba

Czech Republic

Denmark

Ecuador

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Guatemala

Hungary

Iceland

India

Italy

Japan

Kazakhstan

North Korea

South Korea

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Malaysia

Monaco

Mongolia

Pakistan

Papua New Guinea

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Slovakia

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States of America

Uruguay

Venezuela

THE RESEARCH CONTINENT

The Antarctic Treaty was set up in 1959 after many countries disputed claims and ownership over the continent. The Treaty declared that there should be no permanent residents and the entire continent be handed over to scientific research.

 

38 countries now own or work at research facilities housing approx. 4000 people in the summer and 1000 people in the winter.

GEOGRAPHY OF ANTARCTICA

The world's most southern continent has no permanent inhabitants. It does however hold 70% of the world's fresh water due to 98% of it being covered in densely packed ice, averaging 1.9km thick!

Also due to the way that the World is tilted on an axis Antartica in the Winter is completely dark, sometimes the Sun never rises so it's night all the time. The same also happens in the Summer. Right at the height of the season the Sun never sets, meaning it's daylight 24 hours a day!

ACTIVITY

1. Pretend you are an explorer about to be the first person on Antarctica.

2. What would you take to wear, travel and eat on the freezing journey?

3. Write a diary entry of your first day on the continent. What is it like, is it a hard journey, what are have you seen?

CHRISTMAS IN ANTARCTICA

Despite no permanent human population, the 1000 or so Antarctic scientists that stay over Christmas still celebrate the festive season. Scientists at the American Amundsen-Scott research station have started their own unique tradition called 'The Race Around the World'.

Every year after gifts are exchanged and before Christmas dinner the scientists get together and race in a loop around the South Pole. The 2 mile route means they pass through every different timezone hence 'The Race Around the World'. Very cold but very cool!

Blue-eyed Shag

Type of animal - Marsupial

Maximum Wingspan - 1.1m

Region - Antarctica

Diet - Fish

Killer Whale (Orca)

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Length - 10m  (including tail)

Region - Antarctica

Diet - Sea Mammals and Fish

Crabeater Seal

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Length - 2.5m

Region - Antarctica

Diet - Krill

Elephant Seal

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Length - 5m

Region - Antarctica

Diet - Fish

Emperor Penguin

Type of animal - Mammal

Maximum Height - 1.3m

Region - Antarctica

Diet - Fish and Krill

Krill

Type of animal -Crustacean

Maximum Length - 6cm

Region - Antarctica

Diet - Plankton and Plants

Antarctica is actually a desert due to its lack of rain and surprisingly snow.

The Ross Ice Shelf is so large that the country of France could neatly fit inside it.

Despite the masses of ice the continent is the driest place on earth. Along with the coldest and windiest!

It was the last continent to be discovered, remaining

un-explored until 1899! It was a British expedition led by Carsten Borchgrevink  who spent the first winter on the great frozen continent!

Emperor Penguins flock to Antarctica's coasts in their 10s of thousands to mate and give birth each year due to its bountiful oceans!

The name Antarctica actually comes from a Greek word meaning 'the opposite to the North'. Perfect for a continent  so far South!

ANTARCTICA ON FILM

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