The Earth is made up of 7 continents. Antarctica is the 5th largest one.
The name 'Antarctica' comes from a Greek word meaning 'opposite to the north', that’s because Antarctica is located at the South pole. It’s almost completely covered in ice and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean.
Did you know Antarctica is actually a desert? Not all deserts are hot, Antarctica is a cold desert. It’s the biggest desert in the world and it never rains there.
Antarctica is very big. It measures 14,200,000 square kilometres (5,500,000 square miles).
Almost all of Antarctica is located within the Antarctic Circle, that’s an imaginary line that circles the southern part of the world.
There are many glaciers in Antarctica which are made of freshwater. About 70% of the planet’s freshwater is in fact in Antarctica. How crazy is that!
Winter in Antarctica lasts from May to August and summer lasts from December to February.
Who lives in Antarctica?
If you thought your kitchen freezer was cold, then you’ve never been to Antarctica! A kitchen freezer is usually around -18ºC, the average temperature in Antarctica is -55ºC. Despite its cold temperatures, many animals call Antarctica their home.
There are seals, whales, albatrosses and penguins. Emperor penguins (the biggest penguins in the world) have lived in Antarctica for a very long time.
It’s far too cold in Antarctica for people to live there, but every year researchers travel to Antarctica to carry out investigations. They stay there for a few months but do not live there all year round.
Did you know?
Antarctica is the windiest place on earth.
Antarctica used to be warm and green millions of years ago. Fossils show that dinosaurs used to live there. Today there are no trees or shrubs on Antarctica and only two species of flowering plants.
Antarctica is home to several volcanoes and two of them are active. Mt. Erebus is one of them.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was -89.6ºC.
Antarctica is the only continent with no reptiles.
Antarctica does not have a time zone.
The Belgica antarctica is the only insect native to Antarctica.
Emile Marco Palma was the first human born on Antarctica on January 7, 1978.