Antarctica is the continent that is the furthest south on the planet. The name Antarctica comes from the Greek word meaning ‘opposite to the north’. It’s home to the South Pole and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean.

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Who lives in Antarctica?

Antarctica doesn’t belong to any country and nobody lives there. Researchers travel to the continent to study for a few months of the year but they don’t stay all year round. It’s far too cold and windy! It’s the windiest continent on Earth.

Plants also find the weather a bit too difficult to grow. Only some plants like mosses and liverworts have adapted to the cold, but even they only grow for a few weeks during the summer.

There are some animals that love living in and around Antarctica, like emperor penguins (the biggest penguins in the world), seals, albatross and whales.

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Mountains, volcanoes and underwater lakes

Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica at 16,050 ft (4,892 metres).

Many places in Antarctica are hidden by ice. Lake Vostok which was discovered thanks to radar has been covered by ice for at least 15 million years.

There are two active volcanoes on the continent that can erupt at any time! These are Mount Erebus and Deception Island. Mount Erebus is the biggest.

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What is Antarctica famous for?

Antarctica is famous for being the biggest cold desert in the world. It’s also known for having around 70% of the Earth’s fresh water.


Did you know?

  • Ants occupy almost all the continents of the Earth except Antarctica.
  • Antarctica is bigger than Europe and almost double the size of Australia. It’s the fifth-largest continent.
  • Around 90% of the ice on Earth is found in Antarctica.
  • The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Antarctica, a freezing −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F).
  • The largest insect that lives in Antarctica is Belgica Antarctica.