We all know the Antarctica. It is a continent which is frozen throughout the year, placed in the southern hemisphere. In addition to the basic information, that many of the readers of this post already know, we are going to discuss some unknown curious data, in order to understand how this isolated and practically uninhabited continent works.
The Antarctica is in the southern hemisphere, and is named the fourth largest continent in the world, behind Asia, America and Africa, and is surrounded by the Antarctic ocean. About 98% of its extension is covered by ice, and its total area is 14 million square kilometers.
The ice that forms the Antarctica is divided into several shapes, such as ice layers, icebergs, and less than a 2% of the land is composed of sterile rock.
The temperatures in this continent descend to -70ºC (sometimes, less) and it rises when we get closer to the coast. The temperature of the sea is between 2ºC and 10ºC.
This continent just experiments two seasons: winter and summer. When winter comes, the ocean freezes in the coastal areas, and darkness abounds, due to its location that impedes the sun to reach it.
Flora and Fauna of Antarctica
In the Antarctic ocean few species predominate. One of them if the Antarctic krill, it is considered the most important species, because it is the first member of the food chain in the area. Squids, star fish and sea cucumbers have also been seen in the depths of it.
The surface is home to seals, sea lions and some species of penguins, such as Emperor penguins or Adélie penguins.
The Antarctic soil allows mosses and lichens to bloom, although in summer, when the first sun rays of the year appears, in certain places grow two types of plants: the Antarctic carnation and the Antarctic grass.
In this part of the article we are going to discuss several curiosities that only a few people know about the continent, and we are sure that, some of them will surprise you.
- The Antarctic extension is 15 times the size of the United States.
- There are Antarctic regions where it has not rained or snowed in the past 2 million years.
- There has not been recorded a temperature higher than 14ºC.
- Mount Erebus is the most active volcano in the south and, evidently, it does not expel lava, it expels crystals.
- In 2000, a part of the Antarctic was separated from the continent, and became an iceberg. It had more than 10.000 square kilometers.
- It is the continent with the largest fresh water reserve, which remains frozen almost all year round.
- More than 20.000 meteorites have been found in this continent.
- The skin of the penguins contains a lot of fat, which they use as coats to protect themselves from the cold. In addition, their legs serve to regulate the temperature of their body, otherwise they would die of heat.
- There is a currency that only can be used in the Antarctic continent: the Antarctic dollar. It has no legal validity, and most of the profits are donated to student projects who pretends to do science in the ice.
keep an eye to our publications to not miss any news related to what we like most in ITV, the ice and everything that surrounds it.