Antarctica Holidays

The Antarctic Continent

Antarctica has always been a place of interest for scientists and everyday citizens alike. Most people know very little about the Antarctic continent, even though it’s a


major part of our Earth. In fact, the Antarctic continent is the fifth largest in the world, at roughly twice the size of Australia. Antarctica is known as a cold, harsh place, but most people don’t fully understand the extent of the cold. If you’d like to learn more about Antarctica, read on.

Antarctica Environment

The environment in Antarctica is very strange. The land is technically considered a desert because of the lack of rainfall, but it’s not your typical desert. Antarctica is almost completely covered in ice, with about 98% of the total landmass being covered in a thick ice cap. The average thickness of the Antarctic ice cap is around 1 mile, and in some places it reaches 5 miles deep or more. This absolutely massive piece of ice makes up for about 90% of the world’s ice, and approximately 70% of the world’s fresh water. These facts alone make Antarctica an extremely important place, and let us know that we should be taking good care of this continent. Antarctica also has the highest average elevation of any continent.

Antarctica Weather

The weather on the Antarctic continent is known to be extremely harsh. The temperature rarely gets above 0, and the average mean temperature is around -57 degrees Fahrenheit. Antarctica is by far the world’s coldest continent. It’s also the driest and the windiest, with winds reaching speeds of up to 200 mph. There are areas in Antarctica that haven’t seen rain in millions of years, which is the main reason it’s technically considered a desert. The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Antarctica at the Russian Vostok Station, and it was marked as -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather is so cold that no native population has ever existed there to our knowledge. The Antarctic continent wasn’t even officially spotted until 1820, and wasn’t explored until the late 1800’s. Scientists speculate that the climate and weather in Antarctica have changed very little over the past 20 million years.

Antarctica Wildlife

The Antarctic continent is very harsh for most animals, so few species live there. If you travel to Antarctica, you’re sure to see plenty of penguins of all different kinds such as King, Chinstrap, and Gentoo. You will also probably spot some whales, though you’ll have to be on the lookout because they usually stay fairly deep in the water. Depending on the season, you’ll either see thousands of seals on the ice or just a few during your whole trip. Many seals migrate in the colder parts of the year, so the overall population goes way down. Besides that, birds are pretty much the only animal you can expect to spot in Antarctica. There are 100’s of bird species in the area however, so if you’re into bird watching be sure to bring binoculars and a guide book.


The Antarctic Continent