Whether you are visiting Antarctica or you are doing an Antartica school project, it is always interesting to know a little bit more about this amazing place. It is filled with natural beauty, but it has some surprising facts that you probably didn’t know. So here are some Antarctica facts that you probably didn’t know about Antarctica.
Antarctica is a desert
Not only is Antarctica a desert, but it is actually the largest desert on earth. This may not seem very logical to most people as they have an idea of a desert being sunny and most certainly filled with sand. Antarctica is technically a desert because it is so dry and it experiences very little rain.
The coldest place
Antarctica is home to the coldest place on earth and overall it is the coldest place on earth. The extreme conditions here mean that only the strongest animals can survive and almost nothing else. Even animals that dwell there in the summer move away for the extremely harsh winter, where the sun actually disappears!
It is bigger than you think
When you look at a map Antarctica doesn’t really look big at all, but the reality is that the continent is very very big. So big that it is actually 1.3 times the size of Europe, which for most people would be very difficult to imagine. Can you imagine the many countries and cultures in Europe and compare this to Antarctica?
For those that aren’t the biggest fan of reptiles, it will be good to know that Antarctica is the only continent on earth that contains none of these! That means no snakes, lizards and other reptiles! The reason that they cannot survive there is due to them being cold blooded and they would not be able to heat their bodies in the extreme Antarctic conditions.
There are no sled dogs
Of course when you think of the Arctic circle in the northern hemisphere you would of course think of sled dogs as a means of transport. Since the early 90s dogs have actually been banned from Antarctica, because they pose a risk to the wildlife in terms of disease that they may carry.
So much water
Roughly 90 per cent of freshwater on earth is actually located in Antarctica! Of course this is a significant portion of the world’s drinking water and is a very curious fact when you think that Antarctica is a desert, as we mentioned above.
There is no time zone
We already talked a little bit about the extreme weather of Antarctica, but did you know that it actually has no timezone at all? In the summer Antarctica experiences 20 or more hours of sunlight per day and in the winter there is complete darkness. People working and living there will usually choose their own time zone to work in.