Facts About Antarctica For Kids

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Turn learning into fun with these facts about Antarctica. Perfect for budding explorers, animal lovers, and young scientists, these facts are sure to bring fun to learning.

Embark on a frosty adventure with our fascinating facts about Antarctica for kids! This kid-friendly guide is packed with intriguing information about the Earth’s southernmost continent, tailored to spark young minds’ curiosity. Discover the wonders of its icy landscapes, unique wildlife like penguins and seals, and the important scientific research conducted in this remote, frozen wilderness.

These facts are perfect for budding explorers, animal lovers, and young scientists; our Antarctica facts are designed to educate and entertain, making learning about this extraordinary continent an exciting journey. Join us as we uncover the mysteries of Antarctica and inspire a lifelong love for our planet’s incredible environments.

Facts About Antarctica

  • In summer there are six months of daylight and in winter six months of darkness.
  • No residents permanently live in Antarctica.
  • British explorer James Cook was the first to cross the Antarctic Circle and to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent as early as 1773
  • There are no polar bears in the Antarctic. 
  •  Antarctica is the best place in the world to find meteorites.
  • There is hidden water in Antarctica.
  • Antarctica holds the record for wind speeds.
  • The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. It is about the size of France and covers an area of roughly 500,000 square miles.
  • Antarctica is home to many scientific research stations, as well as the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • Antarctica is also home to the saltiest body of water on Earth.
  • John Davis, a sealer and explorer, was the first person to step foot on Antarctic land in 1821.
  • Antarctica experiences extreme temperature variations.
  • Antarctica is a polar desert.
  • The area of Antarctica is 5,400,000 square miles.
  • Before 1840, Antarctica was also known as ‘Terra Australis Incognita’. This is a Latin word which means – the unknown land of the south.
  • Doctors working in the Antarctic must have their appendix removed before they go and work there. This is because in 1961, a doctor working in the Antarctic had to remove his own appendix after it burst, and there was no time to evacuate him.
  • Only around 1,000 people (in winter) and 10,000 people (in summer) live on the continent. These people are mainly based there for one year to live and work in the research stations. 
  • Whales, seals, penguins, and other birds are the most common animals in the Antarctic.
  • Located in Antarctica is the South Pole, the southernmost point on Earth.
  • The Antarctic is home to the world’s largest piece of unclaimed land. It is called Marie Byrd Land.
  • Although it is not officially a country, Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System, which was set up in 1961.
  • Antarctica Has Plant Life.
  • Antarctica is an island.
  • Husky dogs are banned from the Antarctic because it is feared that they will give seals diseases.
  • Antarctica has been explored by many famous adventurers, such as James Cook, Roald Amundsen, and Ernest Shackleton.
  • Small ice columns and needles, or diamond dust, form and float in the air.
  • Mount Erebus is an active volcano found in the Antarctic. It ejects ice crystals.
  • Antarctica was once part of a supercontinent called Gondwana.
  • Antarctica’s coastline is dotted with numerous ice shelves.
  • Orcas (killer whales) are the top predators in Antarctic waters; they prey on seals, penguins, and even other whales.
  • Antarctica is home to the 4th longest mountain range
  • In 1985, scientists discovered a huge ozone hole that grew in the atmosphere over Antarctica. 
  • Antarctica used to be as warm as Melbourne, Australia.
  • Wind speeds in the Antarctic can reach over 320 kph.
  • Of all the continents, Antarctica is only bigger than Europe and Australia. 
  • Due to the harsh environment and limited food sources, there are only a few animals that live in Antarctica. 
  • Antarctica has no native human population.
  • There are no legal restrictions on travel to Antarctica. However, all visitors must obtain a permit from their country of origin before they can enter the continent.
  • East Antarctica is bigger and colder than West Antarctica.
  • The lowest temperature recorded in Antarctica was -89.4 C (minus 129 F) on June 23, 1982.
  • The first person to sight Antarctica was Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, a Russian explorer, in 1820.
  • On average the ice in Antarctica is 1.9 km/6,200 ft deep.
  • Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911.
  •  Lake Vostok, one of the world’s largest lakes, is located in Antarctica. Lake Vostok is roughly the size of North America’s Lake Ontario, but it is not a lake for sailing boats.
  • British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton undertook three Antarctic explorations and was the first to cross South Georgia in Antarctica in 1916.
  • Emperor penguins are highly adapted to cold environments and are the only penguin species that breed in Antarctica.
  • Antarctica has very little vegetation, mainly mosses, and lichens that grow in ice-free areas.
  • Antarctica has a phenomenon called the aurora australis or southern lights, which is a display of colorful lights in the sky caused by solar wind.
  • The Dry Valleys in Antarctica are some of the driest places on Earth.
  • About 40,000 tourists from around the world visit Antarctica every year on polar cruises and exploration trips. 
  • The first woman to visit Antarctica was Caroline Mikkelsen, who arrived with her husband Captain Finn Ross in 1935.
  • Antarctica is an ice-covered continent surrounded by the Southern Ocean. 
  • Antarctica has several species of penguins, such as emperor penguins, king penguins, and chinstrap penguins.
  • Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest, and highest continent on Earth.
  • Antarctica contains more than 90% of the world’s ice and more than 90% of our planet’s fresh water.
  • With an elevation of 16,066 feet (4,897 meters), Mount Vinson is known as the highest mountain in Antarctica.
  • Antarctica is the world’s driest continent, with an average precipitation of only 200 mm per year.
  • Since Antarctica is almost covered by ice, the continent is also known as the white continent.
  • During the winter, there are six months of complete darkness in the southernmost parts of the Antarctic.
  • Antarctica only has two seasons- winter and summer. 
  • 8 countries regularly send scientists and researchers to the various stations on the continent.
  • Before it became a frozen desert after the Ice Age, Antarctica was a warm region with rainforests.
  • Antarctica has the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere: Mount Vinson, which is 4,900 m (16,000 ft) high.
  • Emilio Marcos Palma was the first documented person born on January 7, 1978, on the continent of Antarctica.
  • The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Antarctica.
  • Gephyrocapsa oceanica is a type of algae that forms dense mats on the surface of Antarctic lakes.
  • The highest temperature recorded in Antarctica was 15 C (59 F) on 5 June 1974.
  • Antarctica has a mountain range called the Transantarctic Mountains, which divides the continent into East and West Antarctica.
  • There are over 100 volcanoes in Antarctica, although many of them are inactive.
  • In 1899, Carsten Borchgrevink and his nine selected men became the first to winter over in Antarctica.
  • Under the ice, there are more than 150 subglacial lakes in total.
  • Antarctica is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, which is home to whales and seals. 
  • Antarctica has only two seasons: summer and winter, with six months of daylight and six months of darkness.
  • According to size, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent of our planet.
  • There are two flowering plants that grow in Antarctica: Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort.
  • The Transantarctic Mountains divide Antarctica.
  • Scientists Compare Parts of Antarctica to Mars
  • Antarctica has a time zone called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is used by most research stations.
  • Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty, which is signed by 53 countries and promotes peaceful and scientific cooperation.
  • Antarctica has no permanent residents, but there are research stations where scientists and workers live for a year or more.

Are you looking for more fun and engaging facts to share with your family? Check out these other posts for more facts!

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