Antarctica Continent | Countries List In Antarctica Continent | History Of Antarctica Continent
The coldest, windiest, and driest continent, Antarctica contains 90 percent of all of the ice on the planet in an area just under one and a half times the size of the United States. Let’s take a look at one of the world’s most desolate regions. The Erebus glacier in Antarctica comes down from Mt. Erebus and protrudes off the coast of Ross Island as an 11-12 km long ice tongue. It is a serrated, blue-rimmed “knife” extending toward image center from the upper right out into snow and ice-covered McMurdo Sound.
The smooth white expanse is the Southern Ocean. Lying in the Antarctic Circle that rings the southern part of the globe, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent. Its size varies through the seasons, as expanding sea ice along the coast nearly doubles its size in the winter. Most of Antarctica is covered with ice; less than half a percent of the vast wilderness is ice free.
The continent is divided into two regions, known as East and West Antarctica. East Antarctica makes up two thirds of the continent, and is about the size of Australia. Ice in this part of the continent averages 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) thick. Antarctica has no trees or bushes. Vegetation on the continent is composed of mosses, lichen, and algae. Penguins, whales, and seals live in and around Antarctica, as do fish and krill.
There are no indigenous populations of people on the frozen continent. Today, human habitation exists at a variety of science research stations placed by a number of countries. The freezing weather is an excellent location to study how the body and mind adapts to the cold. Catherine Mikkelson, the wife of a Norwegian whaling captain, became the first woman to visit Antarctica in 1935. The area of Antarctica is approximately 5.4 million square miles (14 million square kilometers). The United States is 3.6 million square miles (9.36 million square kilometers).
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