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10 Things You Never Knew About Antarctica

Although scientists have been studying it intensely for decades, Antarctica is still one of the places that we know the least about. Due to its vast and remote nature, there is so much to learn about this icy wilderness, but here are a few things that we do know.

Antarctica

1. Antarctica is technically described as a desert. Surprisingly, it neither rains nor snows much there, making it the driest place on Earth.

2. Before overwintering on Antarctica, it is required for you to have your appendix and wisdom teeth taken out, even if there is nothing wrong with them. This is because no operations are performed on the continent and so emergency medical attention will not be available should there be a problem with either of these.

3. The animals that live in the waters around Antarctica have adapted many ways to cope with the freezing temperatures. One of the strangest of these is the Antarctic cod, which has developed antifreeze proteins in its bloodstream.

Cod

4. Although it is definitely vast, Antarctica is only the fifth largest continent. It is still more than 57 times the size of the UK, though, and around one and a half times as big as the United States.

5. In 2013, the heavy metal band Metallica secured world domination by playing on Antarctica and becoming the first band to perform on all seven continents. In order to preserve the natural environment, the audience enjoyed the gig through headphones.

6. The hottest temperature ever to be recorded at the South Pole is a sweltering -12 degrees Celsius. At the other end of the scale, world record figures of -94°c were recorded in 2010.

South Pole Sign

7. In 1979, a pregnant woman gave birth on Antarctica. It was actually part of a ploy by Argentina who, having sent her there on purpose, attempted to claim part of the land.

8. Although 99% of its surface is covered with ice, there is a much more diverse landscape lying miles beneath Antarctica. Scientists have discovered mountain ranges and even systems of flowing lakes that are kept liquid by the heat of the Earth’s core.

9. Winds on the Antarctic continent often reach hurricane level and have been known to blow as fast as 200 miles per hour.

Windy Antarctica

10. Before Antarctica was spotted in 1820, its existence was completely unknown. Some people believed it to be a collection of small islands rather than one big icy mass.

If you would like to explore this remote wilderness for yourself, we have many Antarctic cruises available on a range of different itineraries. Call us today for more information or submit your enquiry online.

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