15 İnteresting Facts About Antarctica

In this publication, you can find 15 Interesting Facts about Antarctica.
15 İnteresting Facts About Antarctica


In this publication, you can find 15 Interesting Facts about Antarctica.

This icy expanse spans 13.2 million square kilometers, making it the world's fifth largest continent. It lies almost entirely south of the Arctic Circle, which means temperatures are consistently below freezing for most of the year. Such conditions mean that life is sparse compared to other parts of the world. Yet the animals living in this cold environment are well adapted to cope with the incredibly harsh living conditions observed by the explorers and scientists who lived here. Read up on some of the continent's most distinctive features before embarking on your Antarctic expedition.

15 Interesting Facts About Antarctica

1. The Antarctic Dry Valleys are the driest regions in the world. The humidity in this part of the continent is so low that snow and ice cannot accumulate here, so the valleys appear dusty and dry.

2. Antarctica is on average the windiest place in the world. Researchers investigating this southern landmass measured wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

3. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest mass of ice in the world and can be up to four and a half kilometers thick. The continent as a whole has about 90 percent of freshwater ice and about 70 percent of Earth's total freshwater reserves!

4. Scientists claim that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will raise sea levels around the world by 3 to 4 meters.

5. The Ross Ice Shelf, an ice shelf extending from the continent's main land mass to the sea, measures approximately 500,000 square kilometers, making it the largest ice shelf area ever discovered.

15 İnteresting Facts About Antarctica

6. Although Antarctica is covered in ice, it is home to the 1,200-kilometer-long Gamburtsev Mountains, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. The highest peaks are estimated to be 3,400 meters, which is about a third the size of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain.

7. Another interesting geographical phenomenon hidden under the ice is Lake Vostok, a freshwater lake that lies about 4,000 meters deep in the ice. About the size of Lake Ontario, this lake is one of more than 200 bodies of water discovered under the ice.

8. While the Grand Canyon is considered the largest natural canyon in the world, scientists have discovered another gorge in Antarctica that rivals the massive natural wonder in the USA. Discovered during an expedition in 2010, the eponymous canyon stretches for more than 100 kilometers, is over 10 kilometers wide and reaches a depth of about two kilometers. Scientists think it may be even larger, but more research is needed to determine the true dimensions of this vast trench.

9. Antarctica is home to Mount Erebus, the world's southernmost active volcano, as well as the only known "lava lakes" that have preserved liquid magma through the ages despite the continent's cold environment.

10. About 30 countries operate about 80 research stations on the continent. While around 4,000 people stay at these stations during the summer months, only 1,000 people stay during the long and harsh winter months. Learn about the history of Antarctic exploration here.

11. On January 1979, the first human, Emile Marco Palma, was born in Antarctica. Since then, only ten more have seen the light of day on the continent.

12. Because of the Earth's tilt, the Sun does not rise above the horizon in Antarctica between the spring and autumn equinoxes, meaning the continent remains dark during the Antarctic winter.

13. In contrast, the sun does not set in Antarctica in summer, meaning the continent receives more sunlight from the equator during this time.

14.On March 14, 2000, a 170-by-25-mile piece roughly the size of the US state of Connecticut broke through the Ross Ice Shelf.

15. Deep Lake in Antarctica is so salty that it does not freeze even when the temperature reaches minus 15 degrees Celsius.

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