Do you love learning about our planet? I sure do. I can spend hours looking at maps and reading about different places around the world. But I don’t like just reading about fascinating destinations, I take that inspiration, pack my bags and go see it for myself.

According to Socrates, “Wisdom begins in wonder.”

I couldn’t agree more and that’s what The Adventure Junkies is all about: dream it, learn it, live it.

One place I had always dreamed of going to was Antarctica. The more I learned about this frozen continent the more I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Here’s some of the most interesting facts about Antarctica that are sure to spark your interest in this place.  

 

1. ANTARCTICA IS THE COLDEST PLACE ON EARTH

The annual average temperature is -58° F. And the lowest temperature ever recorded there was -128.5° F, in 1983.

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2. ANTARCTICA WAS FIRST SIGHTED IN 1820

Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis (“Southern Land”) date back to antiquity, Antarctica was only first sighted in 1820, by a Russian expedition.

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3. ANTARCTICA IS THE ONLY CONTINENT WITHOUT REPTILES

Modern non-bird reptiles inhabit every continent with the exception of the White Continent. 

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4. THERE IS A WATERFALL IN ANTARCTICA THAT RUNS BLOOD RED

This five-story, blood-red waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. The crimson color comes from iron. 

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5. ANTARCTICA ONLY HAS 2 ATMS

The only place you can with drawl cash in Antarctica is at the McMurdo Station, the largest science hub on the continent. 

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6. THERE ARE NO POLAR BEARS IN ANTARCTICA

Polar bears only live in the Arctic. 

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7. CHILE HAS A CIVILIAN TOWN IN ANTARCTICA

Villa Las Estrellas is complete with a school, hospital, post office, internet, hostel, TV and mobile phone coverage. The people of the town live in a community that has fourteen 90 m² (970 sq. ft.) homes.

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8. THERE ARE FISH THAT LIVE UNDER ANTARCTICA

Beneath 740 meters of ice in a 10-meter-deep section of water lives translucent fish. Scientists are still unsure on how they manage to sustain themselves.

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9. ICE MELTING HAS CAUSED A SHIFT IN GRAVITY IN THE REGION

Around 2009, multiple glaciers along a vast coastal expanse, measuring some 750km in length, suddenly started to shed ice into the ocean at a nearly constant rate of 60 cubic km, or about 55 trillion litres of water, each year. The ice loss in the region is so large that it causes small changes in the gravity field of the Earth, which can be detected by another satellite mission, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

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10. THERE ARE MORE THAN 300 LAKES BENEATH THE ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET

These subglacial lakes are kept from freezing by the warmth of the Earth’s core.

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11. MOUNT EREBUS, THE SOUTHERNMOST ACTIVE VOLCANO ON EARTH IS IN ANTARCTICA

Mount Erebus is currently the most active volcano in Antarctica. The summit contains a persistent convecting lava lake, one of five long-lasting lava lakes on Earth.

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12. IN 1977, ARGENTINA SENT A PREGNANT MOTHER TO ANTARCTICA IN AN EFFORT TO CLAIM A PORTION OF THE CONTINENT

Emilio Marcos Palma (born 7 January 1978) is an is the first person known to be born on the continent of Antarctica. The photo above is other Esperanza base, where he was born. While ten people have been born in Antarctica since, Palma’s birthplace remains the most southerly.

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13. ANTARCTICA DOES NOT HAVE A TIME ZONE

Antarctica sits on every line of longitude, due to the South Pole being situated near the middle of the continent. Theoretically Antarctica would be located in all time zones; however, areas south of the Antarctic Circle experience extreme day-night cycles near the times of the June and December solstices. This makes it difficult to determine which time zone would be appropriate.The scientists who live there go by either the time of their home land or the supply line that brings them food and equipment.

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14. THERE ARE NO COUNTRIES IN ANTARCTICA

The continent is governed Antarctic Treaty was signed on Dec. 1, 1959, after more than a year of secret negotiations by 12 countries. It dedicates the continent to peaceful research activities. Forty-eight nations have now signed the treaty. 

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15. 90% OF ALL THE METEORITES ARE FOUND IN ANTARCTICA

Meteorites that crash there are easily seen against the ice. They are also better preserved, as they quickly get covered by ice, protecting them from corrosion. Since 1970, there have been more than 10,000 meteorites discovered in Antarctica, a few up to 700,000 years old.

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MORE ARTICLES ABOUT ANTARCTICA

Antarctica: A Journey to the End of the World

What to Wear in Antarctica: The Ultimate Packing List

12 Photos that Will Take You on a Voyage to Antarctica

 

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