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INFO VINE * The Unknown History of Antarctica *

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INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * Empty INFO VINE * The Unknown History of Antarctica *

Post by Paul Tue 20 Feb 2024, 4:53 pm

The Unknown History of Antarctica




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Photo Courtesy: [GraphicaArtis/Contributor/Getty Images]
Antarctica is a unique continent, unlike any other place in the world. It is the fifth-largest continent, along with being the tallest, windiest, driest, and coldest continent. Antarctica is an intriguing place and is a region of extremes with harsh weather conditions. Antarctica covers more than 5.4 million square miles and is situated almost entirely within the Arctic Circle, with temperatures consistently below zero.





Antarctica Is Almost Twice The Size Of Australia


Antarctica is roughly twice the size of Australia and covers an area of 5.4 million square miles. The continent is larger than the United States of America and Mexico together. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge/Contributor/Getty Images]


The expanding sea ice doubles the size of Antarctica every winter, which represents the largest physical change on the planet. The majority of the continent is covered in ice, and then the sea surrounding Antarctica freezes every winter.


Largest Desert In The World


Antarctica has such low humidity and moisture on certain parts of the continent, which just leaves the sandy deserts. The average amount of precipitation across Antarctica is low enough that Antarctica is classified as a polar desert. 


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Photo Courtesy: [David Saul/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


However, the areas that are free of snow and ice make up less than 0.4 percent of the landmass. Because of the high winds, several large sand dunes have been formed in the areas free of snow and ice.


It Is The Only Continent Without Any Reptiles


Antarctica is the only continent that doesn't have any reptiles. However, there is an abundance of other forms of wildlife such as seals, penguins, whales, and other birds. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge/Contributor/Getty Images]


The most common bird on the continent are penguins, which live in colonies and survive in the harshest conditions. There are seventeen existing different species of penguins, but only two of them are permanent residents of Antarctica, the Adelie, and Emperor penguins.


There Are No Polar Bears In Antarctica


Most think that polar bears live in Antarctica; however, they do not. Polar bears live in countries that surround the Arctic Circle, such as the United States (Alaska), Russia, Canada, Norway, and Greenland. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


There is no way the bears could reach the South Pole because they can't handle the tropical temperatures on the way down there. Also, there is no way of them getting there by land anyway. The polar bear is the largest extant bear species and the largest extant land carnivore.


Sledge Dogs Have Been Banned From Antarctica Since 1994


As far back as 1911, sled dogs hauled supplies for Norwegian explorers and were kept and used in Antarctica for years. However, in 1993, sled dogs were banned due to concerns that the dogs might transfer diseases such as canine distemper to the seal population. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Keystone-France/Contributor/Getty Images]


They were also worried that the dogs might get free and disturb the wildlife. Also, back in the 1980s, the Environmental Protocol called for all non-native species, except humans, to be removed from Antarctica. Many people still believe that sled dogs are used in Antarctica.


There Are Places That Haven’t Received Rain Or Snow In 2 Million Years


There are areas of Antarctica that haven't received snow or rain in over two million years. Those areas are called Antarctic oasis, which is a large area naturally free of snow and ice. As a result, the areas have very little precipitation and humidity. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The areas make up less than one percent of the continent but are thought to be the world's harshest deserts. The region doesn't receive rain because of the Katabatic winds, which are winds from the mountains that are so heavy with moisture that gravity pulls them down and away from the valleys.


There Is A Waterfall Called Blood Falls


Five million years ago, East Antarctica was flooded, and a brine lake was formed, and then millions of years later, glaciers formed on top of the lake. As it froze, the water became even saltier and contained a lot of iron from the underlying bedrock. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


When the iron-rich water comes in contact with air, the iron oxidizes and turns the water red, leaving blood-like stains on the ice. It had remained a mystery for years as to why the ice was stained red; however, scientists discovered the reason in 2017.


There Are More Meteorites In Antarctica Than Anywhere Else In The World


According to scientists in Antarctica, meteorites land everywhere with almost equal probability. Because the continent is extremely dry, the rocks don't get eroded, and they are easy to spot on the white, icy surface of Antarctica. 


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Photo Courtesy: [NASA/Cindy Evans/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


When the top layers evaporate, older ice with meteorite concentrations is found and collected. In 1976, there were more than two thousand samples of rock from unknown sources collected.


70% Of The World’s Fresh Water Is In Antarctica


Roughly ninety percent of the world's ice and seventy percent of the freshwater is in Antarctica. The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest on Earth, and if all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels in the world would rise about two hundred feet. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Alessandro Dahan/Contributor/Getty Images]


The majority of the freshwater that is not present below ground or in rivers is locked in the ice glaciers. Of the total freshwater, around 68.7 percent is frozen in icecaps and glaciers.


The Average Ice Sheet Thickness In Antarctica Is One Mile


Antarctica is the southernmost continent, and it is almost completely covered in a thick layer of ice. The thickness of the ice sheet varies depending on the location, and the East Antarctic sheet is much thicker than the ice in the West. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images]


On average, the ice is more than one mile, 1.6 km, thick, and in some areas, it can be as thick as almost three miles. They have even found hidden canyons miles down underneath the ice.


The Continent Has No Official Time Zone


Antarctica is mostly uninhabited, so the continent is not officially divided into time zones. There are several research stations on the continent, and most of them use the time zone of the country that operates or supplies them. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Francois LOCHON/Contributor/Getty Images]


McMurdo Station observes the New Zealand time zone, and Palmer Station keeps Chile Summer Time as Chile is the closest country to their station. With not having any permanent inhabitants, there is no need to divide the continent into time zones.


The Largest Recorded Iceberg Was Bigger Than The Whole Island Of Jamaica


The world's largest recorded iceberg was called Iceberg B-15. The iceberg measured about one hundred and eighty-three miles long and twenty-three miles wide. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The iceberg's surface area was four thousand and two hundred square miles, which made it larger than the whole island of Jamaica. However, in 2000, the Iceberg B-15 broke up into smaller icebergs, and later it all drifted away into the sea. There have been several large icebergs in Antarctica.


Emilio Marcos Palma Was The First Person To Be Born In Antarctica


Emilio Marcos Palma made history by being the first person born in Antarctica in 1978. At the time, his father was the head of the Argentine Army detachment at the Esperanza research Base, which is located near the tip of the Antarctica Peninsula. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images]


His mother was airlifted into the base when she was seven months pregnant, and Emilio was born on January 7, 1978. Since his birth, ten more people have been born on the continent, but Emilio's birth was featured in the Guinness Book of Records.


There Are Two Civilian Towns In Antarctica


There are two civilian towns in Antarctica, and the larger of the two is Villa Las Estrella. Its name stands for 'The Stars Town,' and it was founded in 1984 by Pinochet. The town is a research station that also has a hospital, post office, school, hostel, internet, TV, and cell phone coverage. Esperanza Base is the other town, and it serves as an Argentine research station. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Andrew Shiva/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


The town houses fifty-five inhabitants during the winter, which includes ten families and two school teachers. The town became known in 1978 when Emilio Marcos Palma was born there and became the first person born in Antarctica.


There Are More Than 300 Large Lakes Underneath The Ice Sheet


There are more than three hundred large bodies of water that have been identified under Antarctica. The lakes do not freeze because of geothermal heat and pressure, and they are a part of a vast hydro-logical network under the thick ice sheet. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


Some of the lakes are interconnected and exchange water, while others are completely isolated. Scientists believe that the isolated lakes might be home to microorganisms that haven't been discovered by modern science. One of the lakes buried under Antarctica is Lake Vostok, which is about the size of Lake Ontario.


The Lowest Surface Temperature On Earth Ever Recorded Is -144’ F


The coldest surface temperature on Earth was recorded in 2013 in Antarctica at -135 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it did reach -144 degrees Fahrenheit during polar nights in the wintertime. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Print Collector/Contributor/Getty Images]


In order for such low temperatures to occur, conditions need to consist of dry air and a clear sky that persists for several days. If those conditions persisted longer, the temperature could drop even lower, but scientists don't think that is likely to happen.


Mount Erebus Is One Of The Few Consistently Active Volcanoes On Earth


There are a few active volcanoes in Antarctica, and Mount Erebus is the southernmost active volcano on Earth. The volcano contains a seventeen hundred degrees Fahrenheit lava lake that is miles deep. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


It is consistently alive and bubbling, releasing gas and spitting out chunks of molten rock and feldspar crystals. There are also several extinct volcanoes in Antarctica. Another active volcano is at Deception Island, located far beneath Antarctica's ice, and it has subglacial eruptions under the ice.


It Was Once A Tropical Continent


Many years ago, Antarctica was a green, tropical paradise with mammals like possums and beavers. Scientists have stated that it is only in the recent geological past it got so cold there. Millions of years ago, the concentration of carbon dioxide was more than twice as high compared to today, and the climate was much hotter. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


Also, if the current CO2 emissions continue to rise due to the burning of fossil fuels, it is likely that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere that existed millions of years ago would be achieved within a few hundred years.


Due To Climate Change, Antarctica Has Lost 3 Trillion Tons Of Ice In Just 25 Years


Antarctica has lost more than three trillion tons of ice in the past twenty-five years, and the ice loss process has accelerated dramatically over the last five years. Climate changes have seen the temperatures rising in Antarctica. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Alessandro Dahan/Contributor/Getty Images]


Researchers analyzed data from multiple satellite surveys from 1992 to 2017 and found that the continent is currently losing ice about three times faster than it did before 2012. They predict that more than two hundred and forty-one billion tons of ice are lost each year.


Earth’s Gravitational Pull Is Shifting Because Of Climate Change


The effects of climate change today are so grave that gravity itself is changing. The European Space Agency has reported that in only three years, Antarctica has lost so much ice that it caused a shift in the Earth's gravitational pull. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Alessandro Dahan/Contributor/Getty Images]


During one of their studies, it was found that the loss of ice from West Antarctica between 2009 and 2012 has actually caused a dip in the gravity field over the region. "The accelerated decline resulting from glacial ice melting is the main driver of the rapid polar drift after the 1990s." ----- Shanshan Deng.


There Is One ATM On Antarctica


Wells Fargo installed an ATM at McMurdo Station in 1998, which is the largest science hub on the continent. The ATM only dispenses US dollars, even though it is near New Zealand territory. It was installed because some of the places in the small town accept cash. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images]


The McMurdo staff are trained to make simple repairs, and there is a second ATM that can be taken apart for parts. "Every two years, both machines are serviced and brought up to speed on the latest technology." -----Kristopher Dahl.


The Wind Can Reach Up To 200 Miles Per Hour


Antarctica is one of the windiest places on Earth because of the unusual katabatic and downslope winds. The cold temperatures and the shape of the continent influence the strong winds. The highest recorded wind speed was in 1972, at two hundred miles per hour. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


It doesn't snow that often, but because of the wind, the snow is picked up from the ground and blown around to make it look like it is snowing. The strong winds are formed when air moves down the slope, also called katabatic, and from the mountain's flat expanses.


The Highest Temperature Ever Recorded On Antarctica Was 63.5 degrees F


The highest temperature that has been recorded in Antarctica was 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature was recorded in 2015 at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza, which is near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Francois LOCHON/Contributor/Getty Images]


However, in 1982, the higher temperature of 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded on Signey Island, which is located on the South Orkney Islands of Antarctica. The area had even higher temps back when it was a tropical continent.


It Is The Coldest, Windiest, And Driest Continent


Antarctica is almost entirely ice, but the continent is technically a desert because of the low precipitation levels. The inner regions receive an average of two inches of precipitation or snow each year. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The Sahara desert receives twice as much rain each year as Antarctica. However, the coasts of Antarctica receive more falling moisture, but it doesn't soak into the ground as it does in other deserts around the world.


There Are Seven Christian Churches In Antarctica


Even though Antarctica has one of the harshest climates, the people still have places to worship. All of the churches in Antarctica are Christian, and there are seven churches. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images]


The churches are called Trinity Chapel, Chapel of the Snows, San Francisco de Asis Chapel, The Ice Cave Catholic Chapel, St. Ivan Rilski Chapel, the Catholic Chapel of Santisima Virgen de Lujan, and Chilian Chapel of Santa Maria Reina de la Paz.


Every Way Is North


When standing at the South Pole, you are standing at the southernmost point on Earth. No matter which way you look, every direction is North, even though we talk about East and West Antarctica. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


It is based on the prime meridian, which is an imaginary line that passes through Greenwich in the UK at zero degrees of longitude. When you stand in the South Pole and face towards Greenwich, everything to your right is East Antarctica, and everything to your left is West Antarctica.


Antarctica Has Its Own Treaty


In 1820, when humans first saw Antarctica, it was the only continent without an indigenous population. There were several nations that quickly made claims to the continent, which led to significant tension. Tensions mounted, and everyone agreed on the need for a peaceful resolution. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


As a result, in 1959, twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, which was an unprecedented international agreement to govern the continent together as a reserve for peace and science. Forty-one other countries have since signed the Treaty and participate in annual meetings, where decisions are made by consensus about Antarctica.


Diamond Dust Floats In The Air


Antarctica has low precipitation levels, but meteorological wonders are in the air, including diamond dust. Diamond dust is made of tiny crystals from humid air near the Earth's surface, which is like an icy fog. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge/Contributor/Getty Images]


The ice crystals hang suspended in the air, and the sunlight causes them to sparkle and looks like a million little floating diamonds. It is also responsible for beautiful optical phenomena such as halos, sun dogs, and light pillars.


Fish In Antarctica Have Special ‘Ant-Freeze’ Proteins In Their Blood


Several of the fish in Antarctica have special 'anti-freeze' proteins in their blood to stop them from freezing in the polar ocean. Freshwater freezes at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit but saltwater can drop to -28.75 degrees Fahrenheit before it freezes. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The anti-freeze proteins lower the freezing temperature of the fish so that they can survive in the freezing waters. "What we found is that the anti-freeze proteins also stop internal ice crystals from melting. That is, they are anti-melt proteins as well." ---- Chi-Hing Cheng.


A Trench Deeper Than The Grand Canyon Was Discovered


Scientists discovered a trench or canyon underneath Antarctica's ice that is larger than the Grand Canyon. The unnamed canyon was found during an expedition in 2010, and the canyon extends sixty-two miles. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


The canyon is also six miles wide and reaches nearly one and a half times deeper than the Grand Canyon. It is the deepest canyon that has been discovered on dry land. The canyon is located underneath Denman Glacier.


It Is A Research Hotspot


There are no permanent residents in Antarctica; however, there are people there all year round. The continent has a harsh climate and is isolated, which makes it perfect for all manner of study. Researchers live for short times in Antarctic bases while they study the continent's life, temperature, and geography. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


It's also a prime place for astronomers because of the clear conditions and darkness in the winter; it is a place ideal for stargazing. There are thirty countries that conduct research on the eighty research stations situated around the continent. There are usually about four thousand researchers in the summer months and about one thousand during the winter.


The Midnight Sun Is One Of The Most Fascinating Sights In The World


One of the most fascinating sights in the world is the midnight sun in Antarctica. There is a period of months, South of the Antarctic Circle, when the sun never sets. Summers near the South Pole are perpetually bright, so you can be outside at midnight and be able to read a book. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Yan Zhang/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


The researchers experience the opposite, the permanent Antarctic darkness. Tourists can only experience the midnight sun in the Arctic Circle during the summer.


There Is A Lake That Never Freezes


There is a lake in Antarctica that is so salty that it never freezes, and scientists are unsure how the lake got there. It is called the Don Juan Pond, and the dense salt deposits keep the lake from freezing. The salt also changes the water's composition and makes its viscosity more like a light syrup. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The salt in the lake is actually calcium chloride, which is a more concentrated form of salt. However, the scientists have no idea how the salt got there or why the pond's chemical composition is incredibly pure.


The Ross Ice Shelf Is The Largest


Antarctica has the world's largest supply of ice and produces the largest icebergs. The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf on the continent, with an area of about 193,363 square miles and about five hundred miles across. 


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Photo Courtesy: [DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY/Contributor/Getty Images]


The ice shelf is several hundred meters thick, and the almost vertical ice front is more than three hundred and seventy miles long. However, roughly ninety percent of the floating ice is below the water surface. The ice shelf is named after the man who discovered it, James Clark Ross.


There Are Buried Mountains


Antarctica holds one of the world's biggest mountain ranges called the Gamburtsev Mountains. The mountains stretch out more than seven hundred and fifty miles. The mountain's highest peaks are about nine thousand feet, which is one-third the height of Earth's tallest mountain, Mount Everest. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


The majority of the Gamburtsev Mountains are buried beneath Antarctica's snow and ice. However, several of the peaks are high enough to be snow-free and visible.


There Is A Great Divide


There are several mountain summits in Antarctica, including the Transantarctic Mountains. The Transantarctic Mountains divide the continent into Eastern and Western regions. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Eli Duke/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


The mountains run along the peninsula and extend across the continent. Some of the summits reach altitudes of more than four thousand and five hundred meters. East Antarctica is larger than West Antarctica, and the ice is thicker in the East as well.


Vinson Massif Is Antarctica’s Highest Point


Vinson Massif, a large mountain massif, is located in Antarctica and is thirteen miles long and eight miles wide. The massif lies within the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains and overlooks the Ronne Ice Shelf near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula.


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Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


Mount Vinson was discovered in 1958 by a U.S. Navy aircraft. Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica at sixteen thousand and fifty feet and was first climbed by Nicholas Clinch's expedition in 1966.


Antarctica Was Discovered In 1820


Antarctica was discovered in 1820 during the voyage of two Russian ships, the Mirnyi and Vostok, under the command of Captain Fabien Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. They were on a two-year exploratory expedition around the world to discover new lands for the Russian Empire. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


Fabien's ships were the first to have crossed the Antarctic Circle since Cook nearly fifty years earlier. There have been others that claim to have seen Antarctica before 1820 but none that were proven.


Roald Amundsen Was The First Person To Reach Antarctica


Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, was the first to ever reach the geographic Southern Pole. He arrived at the pole with four others in 1911, just five weeks before Robert Falcon's Terra Nova Expedition arrived. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


Amundsen set out for Antarctica in 1910, and he made his Antarctic base called 'Framheim, ' in the Bay of Whales on the Great Ice Barrier. Recent polar historians understood the skill and courage of Amundsen's party and named the scientific base at the pole bears his name.


The Continent Is Occupied Year-Round


There are people that live in Antarctica, and each year the number of people living in Antarctica is between one thousand and four thousand. The majority of the people living there are scientists and staff at the research stations. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Ministry of Science & Technology/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


Several of the researchers return home during the winter. There are also people there that support and provide guide services to Antarctic explorers. There are roughly sixty-six scientific bases, and out of those, thirty-seven are occupied year-round.


Felicity Aston Skied Across Antarctica


Felicity Aston is the first woman in the world to ski across Antarctica alone, and she completed the fifty-nine-day journey in 2012. Aston was also the first person to traverse the continent purely by muscle power without the aid of kites or machines. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Felicity Aston/Public Domain/Wikipedia]


She earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, and in 2015, she was awarded the Queen's Polar Medal. She has created and led record-setting expeditions to both the North and South Pole with international teams of women. Aston also spent three years on a remote research station in Antarctica monitoring the climate and ozone.


It Is A Tourist Site


Every year, over seventy thousand people from across the world visit Antarctica by air and sea. Most of the visitors travel to the Antarctic Peninsula via sea voyage. 


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It takes about thirty-six hours to travel by sea from Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the planet, to the Antarctic Peninsula. Several tourists also take flights to the South Pole, which for many, is considered a bucket list item and is very expensive.


The Nematode Worm Is Antarctica’s Most Abundant Land Animal


Beneath Antarctica's surface, microscopic worms called nematodes thrive. They thrive in a unique ecosystem, and they are also helping researchers understand the effects of climate change. Tiny nematode worms do not die when they freeze, they instead 'hibernate' until the water arrives again. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


"They pump all the water out of the bodies until they're dried out like a little Cheerio, a process similar to freeze-drying. The worms then literally just blow around in the wind until water returns. When the water comes back, the nematodes suck the water back into their bodies, and they're re-animated; they come back to life." ----- Byron Adams.


There Are Plenty Of Penguins On The Continent


The most common type of bird in Antarctica is the penguin. They live in colonies with populations larger than some cities, and they survive in harsh conditions. Two different species of penguin make the Antarctic continent their true home, with one species, the Galapagos penguin, even living on the equator. 


INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * D049d3634d8cb9bf37393b2141cc1361
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Penguins stand for hours on the ice, but they don't freeze because the blood flow to their feet is tightly controlled, and the flow is reduced in cold conditions.


Only The Male Penguins Stay In Antarctica Through The Winter


During the coldest winter months in Antarctica, the male penguins are the only ones that stay. The males survive only on fat reserves from the previous summer, and they huddle together to stay warm. 


INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * D57231d33b17f55709f441dcb164654a
Photo Courtesy: [Xinhua News Agency/Contributor/Getty Images]


They also take care of the eggs while the females are gone back out to sea. The females return in a couple of months to continue their parental duties while male penguins leave to find food.


There Are Huge Sand Dunes


You can also find large sand dunes in Antarctica. Scientists have discovered that the speed at which sand dunes drift across the ground of the desert has tripled in the past forty years. 


INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * 837aa81362db8803f44b735a12c160ce
Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The areas that are free of snow and ice make up less than 0.4 percent, and in those areas, the wind has built sand dunes. The wind is often very strong in Antarctica, and it blows the sand around, forming several sand dunes, with some of them being rather large.


There Is A Well-Known Current


The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is an ocean current that flows clockwise from West to East Antarctica. It is the dominant circulation feature of the Southern Ocean, and it is the largest ocean current. 


INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * B2d94f798d5d147445b577f5eb25c931
Photo Courtesy: [Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images]


The current keeps warm ocean waters away from Antarctica, making sure that the continent maintains its huge ice sheet. Associated with the ACC is the Antarctic Convergence, which is where the cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer waters and create a zone of upwelling nutrients.


It Is Home To The South Pole


Antarctica is home to the South Pole, and it is one of the two points where Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. The South Pole is the southernmost point on Earth and lies on the opposite side of the North Pole. 


INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * 8fbe04ac710de667c5a979dd010865cb
Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


It is the site of the United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which was established in 1956 and is permanently staffed. In addition, the Geographic South Pole is distinct from the South Magnetic Pole.


Antarctica’s Lake Is Salty


Antarctica's lakes are very salty, especially the Don Juan Pond Lake, which is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet. In McMurdo Dry Valleys, the water evaporation concentrates salts in the lake and forces some salts to crystalize. 


INFO VINE *  The Unknown History of Antarctica * 8b6f50fcc23694acee591a3644654d10
Photo Courtesy: [Royal Geographical Society/Contributor/Getty Images]


Lake Vanda is a hypersaline lake with a salinity of more than ten times seawater and even more salinity of the Dead Sea. The lake is also meromictic, where the lake's deeper waters do not mix with the shallower waters.
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