2. As of 2018, four small icebergs remain of Iceberg B-15 in the South Atlantic. Despite efforts to help her by other scientists, the seal mauled Brown to death. The new millennium saw tourism and (to a lesser extent) biological prospecting (the search for useful chemical compounds and genes in local species) become established sectors of the Antarctic economic landscape. Seals and penguins are bigger, but they spend much of their time in the water. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Prior to being owned by Ukraine in 1996, the station was named the Faraday Station under British control. Instead, the people in the research stations on the continent use the time zones of their countries of origin. It’s also the name of a Russian research station in East Antarctica, which stands on the ice above Lake Vostok. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. 5 x Fascinating Facts about Antarctica. From historical research, it was discovered that Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. Over the course of summer and winter, melting and freezing ice removes and adds over 30 million km² to Antarctica. Antarctica is the only continent with no native species of ants. How’s that for weird Antarctica facts? The name goes back to ancient times when scholars theorized about a continent south of Africa and Asia. Over 30,000 people tourists visit the continent every year. Running across West Antarctica, this rift isn’t very noticeable thanks to all the ice burying it. They can’t raise livestock, but scientists in Antarctica have indoor gardens and greenhouses to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in. But once there’s water, they defrost themselves and come back to life. Emperor Penguins are only the most well-known of their kind. Anywhere else on the planet, wind speeds only reach this high during storms and similar weather phenomena. The bar retains the old name of Faraday Bar, even after the rest of the station switched to a Ukrainian name. The warming in West Antarctica was especially-severe, with temperatures rising over 0.1 degrees Celsius per decade. 10. there are more than 300 lakes beneath the antarctic ice sheet; 11. mount erebus, the southernmost active volcano on earth is in antarctica; 12. in 1977, argentina sent a pregnant mother to antarctica in an effort to claim a portion of the continent; 13. antarctica does not have a time zone; 14. there are no countries in antarctica Antarctica is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. It’s not enough to make them self-sufficient, but it’s enough to keep them from being completely-dependent on supply shipments. Ten million years later, Gondwana began the enormously slow process of breaking into the pieces we recognize today, and the continents, subcontinent and islands began moving into their present positions. There are 3 reasons for this: First is that the Arctic is only ice floating on water. These deep embayments of the southernmost Pacific and Atlantic oceans make the continent somewhat pear-shaped, dividing it into two unequal-sized parts. Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about Antarctic region already in c. 350 B.C. Drill samples point to the lake existing as far back as 25 million years ago. Governments mandated many early expeditions—whether ostensibly economic, scientific, or exploratory in character—to make territorial claims. The Antarctic Ice Sheet averages a thickness of 1.9 km. History Around 200 million years ago, Antarctica was joined with Australia, Africa, South America, India and New Zealand in the supercontinent Gondwana. Many of these lakes have connections to each other underground and exchange water between them. Photo: Audun Dahl. As for tourism, it’s limited to aerial flyovers of parts of the continent, and limited time on the ground in designated areas. Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the geographic south pole on December 14, 1911. Antarctica is the southernmost continent on the planet. Temperatures reached a peak of 18.3°C, beating the 2015 record of 17.5°C. Melting caused by the rising temperatures somewhat mild at present, but it is gradually increasing. Geologists, geophysicists, glaciologists, biologists, and other scientists have mapped and visited all of the continent’s mountain regions. This mountain range has been dubbed the Ghost Mountains because its entirely buried under ice and snow. Should the ice on this part of the continent melt, sea levels will rise by at least 3.3. meters. Thinner areas called ice sheets melt in summer only to freeze again in winter. You just have to know where to look, just like these Antarctica facts. Scientists estimate Mount Erebus has erupted many times over the last 1 million years. If the dentist declares there’s a risk of major teeth issues in the time they’re planned to stay in Antarctica, then it must get resolved before departure. The reactor also provided heat to melt ice for water, and to purify wastewater for reuse. Although legend had told of a vast southern land referred to as Terra Australis since the 1st century AD, the first sighting of Antarctica is invariably attributed to Imperial Russian Navy captain Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1820, with Captain James Cook having missing the continent by only 75 miles in 1773. Its landmass is almost wholly covered by a vast ice sheet. The continent is divided into East Antarctica (which is largely composed of a high ice-covered plateau) and West Antarctica (which is largely an ice sheet covering an archipelago of mountainous islands). NASA scientists snapped this pristine shot while flying over Antarctica in December 2012. This makes Antarctic winters and summers colder and warmer than their Arctic counterparts. Out of the whole continent, it’s West Antarctica’s ice that’s most affected by global warming. There’s no need for Antarctica to establish an official timezone, as the continent has no government nor citizens of its own. Scientists call Antarctic animals’ natural antifreeze glycoproteins. One of the cooler Antarctica facts: Because Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world, its biodiversity is limited. While being good coolants, they had a dangerous side-effect in the atmosphere. Everything to the west of the Weddell Sea but east of the Ross Sea is West Antarctica. Antarctica is seriously dry: The dry valleys of Antarctica make up the driest place on Earth. This is the result of global warming, the heating of the planet as a whole by humans putting more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Antarctica history is relatively short, at least in terms of human activity. Scientists are still unsure why the fish evolved this way, since it’s not an adaptation to cold environments. Between the currents of the lava and the Earth’s oceans acting as a lubricant, these plates move around all the time. The researchers surveyed the ice … However, it’s the melting of the ice shelves that causes ocean levels to rise. The collapse of the Larsen-B Ice Shelf in 2002 alarmed scientists as the beginning of a dangerous trend. The average thickness of ice in Antarctica is about 1 mile (1.6 km). Pam Young, Jean Pearson, Lois Jones, Eileen McSaveney, Kay Lindsay and Terry Tickhill became the first women to reach the south pole in 1969. It is also the world’s highest, driest, windiest, coldest, and iciest continent. In 1599, Dutchman Dirck Gerritsz described land in the vicinity of the South Shetland Islands, and through the 1600s Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English and French navigators penetrated south of Cape Horn. Antarctica - Antarctica - History: Many nations were involved in the discovery and early exploration of Antarctica. They’re called the Eulagisca gigantea, or the Antarctic Scale Worm. One common chemical used in early refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners were chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Other scientists even hold classes for their specific fields of science to scientists from other fields. Explorers first reached the South Pole in 1911. The Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship the Antarctic made the first landing on Antarctica in 1895. According to studies, ships captained by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Edward Bransfield, and Nathaniel Palmer sighted the ice shelves of Antarctica in 1820. All sightings are of the Antarctic Peninsula, the most northerly region of Antarctica. The Argentinian government sent Emilio’s mother when she was 7 months pregnant to complete her pregnancy in Antarctica. Apparently, Antarctic squid are. 90 percent of the world’s freshwater lies in Antarctica and 89 percent is in the form of ice and only 1 percent is flowing water. Captain Jorge Palma, led the Argentine Army detachment at Esperanza Base in Antarctica’s Trinity Peninsula. As a result, Rogozov had to do surgery on himself, with only limited anesthesia. Is Antarctica a desert? Lying almost concentrically around the South Pole, Antarctica’s name means “opposite to the Arctic.” It would be essentially circular except for the outflaring Antarctic Peninsula, which reaches toward the southern tip of South America (some 600 miles [970 km] away), and for two principal embayments, the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea. Doctor Rogozov not only managed to remove his appendix but recovered fully. Just like tree rings, they tell how old a layer of ice is, and what happened in that time. The rest of the continent make up East Antarctica. This removes the risk of them developing appendicitis while in Antarctica. It is also the world’s highest, driest, windiest, coldest, and iciest continent. There is little or no running water. 10 Fun Facts About Antarctica November 26, 2012. As a result, Montreal Protocol banned the use of CFCs in 1987. However, safety concerns led the USA to decommission the reactor in 1972. Animal life is also plentiful in Antarctica, with Emperor Penguins being the most famous. Iceberg B-15 broke off from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000 and drifted north into the Atlantic Ocean. It was the name given to the Soviet program that put the first man in space, and to a Russian exploration ship in the early-19th century. How’s that for neat Antarctica Facts? This is then studied under a microscope. Around the Antarctic coast, shelves, glaciers, and ice sheets continually “calve,” or discharge, icebergs into the seas. Going back some 170 million years, Antarctica was part of a larger landmass, or supercontinent, which is referred to as Gondwana. Average wind speeds reach up to 320 km/h. Decades of use of CFCs broke down enough ozone to open a hole in the ozone layer. Between the continent’s position and the satellite’s orbits, and there’s a daily limit to how long they can use the satellites. Antarctica is the windiest place on the earth where windspeed of more than 350 kilometres per hour/218 miles per hour have been measured. Antarctica History. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of easily accessible resources, and isolation. As CFCs in the atmosphere dropped, the hole in the ozone layer began to heal. Finally, Antarctica has a higher elevation than the Arctic, by about 3 km on average, helping make it colder than the Arctic. With such low humidity and moisture on this portion of the continent, snow and ice cannot even accumulate, which leaves the valleys as just a dusty expanse of dirt. The Transantarctic Mountains, northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. It comes after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. Definitely one of the more mind-boggling Antarctica facts. Research data and other official communications are priorities for the network. Scientists attribute the strange color to the iron deposits underneath the lake, with flowing with the water. Here’s a particularly cool example of Antarctica facts: It even earned Metallica a world record as the only band to play in all 7 continents. 25+ Amazing Antarctica Facts For Kids. Melting of ice sheets don’t add to ocean levels, as they’re already part of the global balance. Wisdom teeth removal depends on whether or not the dentist prescribes it. The Dry Valleys in Antarctica are the driest places on earth. For its part, vast forests like those in Northern Europe today covered West Antarctica. Antarctica is about 5.5 million square miles (14.2 million square km) in size, and thick ice covers about 98 percent of the land. Also, it is considered that once Antarctica is as warm as modern California. These lights are caused by high-energy particles from the Sun slipping through the Earth’s magnetic field and hitting the atmosphere. Britain, France, and Norway, and both Australia and New Zealand own territories in Antarctica. Those plates float on a thin layer of lava between the crust and the rest of the mantle. There are no indigenous people in Antarctica. They’re usually seen in high northern or low southern latitudes, but even so, they’re a rare sight in Antarctica. How’s that for Chilling Antarctica facts? Ice shelves, or ice sheets floating on the sea, cover many parts of the Ross and Weddell seas. Captain James Cook crossed the Antarctic Circle three times in the late-18th century. Since then, diesel-fueled generators have powered McMurdo Station. Satellites are the only reliable way to communicate to and from Antarctica. If going in the opposite direction though, the current slows ships down. At least 17 other species of penguins live in Antarctica, including King Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, and the Adélie penguin. Antarctic ice fish are the only vertebrates with no red blood cells. 1821 February the 7th. The Vernadsky Research Station also houses the southernmost bar on Earth. About 650 ce, however, long before European geographers of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were to conjecture about Terra Australis Incognita, a mythical land to the far south, Rarotongan oral tradition tells of Ui-te-Rangiora, who sailed south of Aotearoa (New Zealand) to a … Others aren’t connected, with scientists saying such lakes are time capsules and home to life forms unchanged for millions of years. Required fields are marked Lake Vostok isn’t an underground lake, but a subglacial one. This higher elevation is partly due to the fact that most of Antarctica is in the east. Aurora borealis, also known as northern or southern lights, appear as shimmering ribbons of light in the atmosphere.