Antarctica is a fascinating land. As far as the eyes can see, there is only ice. Massive glaciers, frozen lakes and freezing temperatures make it almost impossible for any life to sustain there but some animals have adapted to these harsh conditions. And yet humans are still intrigued by this ice desert. Take a look at these 10 must-know facts about Antarctica that will acquaint you with this icy continent.
#1. Ice and more ice
The vast expanse of ice in Antarctica makes it the single biggest mass of ice in the world. Overall, the continent covers over 90% of Earth’s freshwater ice and about 70% of the total freshwater of the planet.
#2. Whose Antarctica?
Various nations such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Argentina have laid claim to the icy continent over the years but it remains free of any ownership and government. The land has been called a natural reserve which is devoted to science and peace as per the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. 48 nations have signed the treaty.
If meteorites interest you, a visit to the ice continent is a must as 90% of all meteorites can be found in Antarctica. They are also better preserved due to ice which also acts as a preventive measure against corrosion. There have been up to 10,000 meteorites found in Antarctica since 1970, some of which are over 700,000 years old.
#4. Coldest Place
Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. The average annual temperature is -58 degree Fahrenheit. The lowest temperature ever recorded there was -128 degrees Fahrenheit in 1983.