Antarctica is the coldest, windy, high and driest continent on the planet.
Antarctica - the desert, despite the fact that it holds 70 percent of the world's fresh water. The average on the continent falls no more than six inches of rain a year. Most of them are in the eastern part of the continent. These figures are comparable to those of the Sahara Desert.
In the winter, the area of sea ice around Antarctica is growing at more than 64 thousand square kilometers a day.
Only 2 percent of the continent can be seen from under the ice.
Ice of Antarctica is so heavy that deforms the South Pole. In fact, its weight makes the Earth a few pear shape.
Antarctica holds the first place in the rating of the lowest recorded temperature on Earth, namely -84, 5 ° C. This temperature was observed at the Russian Vostok Station in 1983. At this temperature the steel crumbles, and the water explodes, turning into some ice crystals. Forces of Nature rarely take such a ferocious character, as in Antarctica, making the continent is one of the most inhospitable places on earth.
The continent is subject to regular downward winds reaching 300 kilometers per hour, which blow from the center of the continent.
The first people who reached the South Pole, the participants were Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen on December 14, 1911. A month later, a British expedition Robert Scott also reached 90 degrees south latitude, but its members were tragically killed on the way back.
Assumptions about the existence of "South Land" remained unconfirmed until the early 1820s. After World War II there was a boom of research on the continent.
Today seven countries announced their territorial claims on Antarctica (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the UK), but not all countries, including the US and Russia, accept these claims.
In order to create a legal framework for the activities of nations on the continent, was signed the Antarctic Treaty, which both denies and does not endorse the existing territorial claims. The document provides for demilitarization of Antarctica.
Oddly poradoksalno, one of the biggest dangers for researchers and other people living on the continent - a fire. Dry environment increases the probability of its occurrence and complicates attempts to extinguish it.
Antarctica is the largest unspoiled territory on Earth.
Antarctica contains 90% of the world's ice.
In summer, more radiation reaches the South Pole than the equator. This is because the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is the largest of the known and is 27 million square kilometers.
Ice Marathon in Antarctica - an annual stokilometrovy run, which takes place on the ice sheet in the shadow of the Ellsworth Mountains just a few hundred miles from the South Pole.
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