Unknown Facts About Antarctica

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Located on the southern most tip of the earth, Antarctica is one of worlds most fascinating places, situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent in the world and least densely populated continent. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered and About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. A lot of things are unknown to most people about this mysterious continent, in this article, we will be looking at some of the interesting and fascinating facts you might have not known about Antarctica.

Unknown Facts About Antarctica

  • Antarctica is the largest desert in the world.
  • The coldest place on Earth is a high ridge in Antarctica where temperatures can dip below -133°F (-93.2°C).1 Unknown Facts About Antarctica
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica is 58.2°F (14.5°C).
  • Antarctica holds most of the world’s fresh water, An incredible 60-90% of the world’s fresh water is locked in Antarctica’s vast ice sheet. The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest on Earth, covering an incredible 14 million km² (5.4 million square miles) of Antarctic mountain ranges, valleys and plateaus.
  • Antarctica was not always this cold, in fact researchers have estimated that 40-50 million years ago, temperatures across Antarctica reached up to 17°C (62.6°F). Scientists have also found fossils showing that Antarctica was once covered with verdant green forests and inhabited by dinosaurs!
  • The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming areas on the planet. Over the past 50 years, average temperatures across the Antarctic Peninsula have increased by 3°C (37.4°F), five times the average increase on Earth.
  • Most of Antarctica experiences 6 months of constant daylight in summer and 6 months of darkness in winter. Time starts to feel a little different without the normal markers for day and night2 Unknown Facts About Antarctica
  • As Antarctica is located at the southernmost point on Earth. It doesn’t matter which way you look, every direction is north.
  • On a remote glacier in East Antarctica, there’s a subglacial lake that flows blood red, this strange phenomenon was first observed in 1911, and it remained a mystery till 2017 when the scientists discovered the cause. The water flowing from within the glacier was from a subglacial lake high in salt and oxidised iron, and when it came into contact with oxygen the iron rusted, giving the water its striking red shade, and its name: Blood Falls.
  • The Dry Valleys in Antarctica are the driest places on earth. With such low humidity and moisture on this portion of the continent, snow and ice cannot even accumulate, which leaves the valleys as just a dusty expanse of dirt.
  • Antarctica is the windiest place on earth. Scientists exploring this southerly landmass have reported wind speeds that have reached up to 200 miles per hour.
  • Scientists claim that if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to melt, it would raise global sea levels by about 16 feet.3 Unknown Facts About Antarctica
  • Antarctica is home to Mount Erebus – the southern-most active volcano in the world – as well as the only known “lava lakes,” which have held liquid magma for eons despite the continent’s frigid conditions.
  • In January of 1979, Emile Marco Palma became the first human ever to be born on Antarctica. Since his historic passage through the birth canal, only 10 other people have been born on the continent.
  • Deep Lake in Antarctica is so salty that it cannot freeze, even in temperatures as low as negative 15 degrees Celsius!4 Unknown Facts About Antarctica
  • The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth.
  • Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Mountains are a range of steep peaks that rise to 9,000 feet (3,000 meters) and stretch 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) across the interior of the continent — and are completely buried under up to 15,750 feet (4,800 m) ice.
  • The highest point on Antarctica is the Vinson Massif at 16,362 feet (4,987 meters).
  • In Antarctica around 1% of the continent (4,000 km or 2,500 mi) is permanently ice-free – such areas are called dry valleys or Antarctic oasis. They are thought to be the world’s harshest deserts and it is estimated that these areas haven’t seen rain or snow in almost 2 million years.
  • More meteorites are found in antarctica than anywhere else in the world. more than 20,000 samples of rock from unknown sources were collected since 1976.
  • Around 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of the fresh water is in Antarctica.
  • Antarctica Is the only continent without reptiles and snakes
  • In the past 25 years Antarctica has lost more than 3 trillion tons of ice. The ice loss process has accelerated dramatically over the last five years.
  • Since surgeries are not performed at any of the research stations, you’re not allowed to work in Antarctica unless you have your wisdom teeth an appendix removed, even if there’s nothing wrong with them.
  • There is only one ATM in all of Antarctica, and at least seven Christian Churches.5 Unknown Facts About Antarctica
  • There are about 400 lakes hidden underneath Antarctica’s ice shelves, the largest of which is called Lake Vostok.
  • The biggest danger faced by international research stations in Antarctica is fire. Due to excessively dry conditions, fires are easy to ignite and difficult to contain.
  • The band Metallica played a concert on Antarctica on December 8, 2013, making it the first band to have played on all seven continents in one year.
  • In 1959 a treaty was signed by 12 countries, calling for Antarctica to be used for peaceful purposes only. Consequently, no country owns Antarctica.

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