facts about Antarctica
Size: 5.5 million
square miles (14M sq. km). Fifth largest continent in the world. As
large as the US and Mexico combined.
has been administered by the Antarctic Treaty since 1961. No country
has any definitive sovereignty over any part of it, in spite of claims.
Vinson Massif 16,062' (4897m)
Antarctica receives less than 5 cm of precipitation a year, which
is similar to the amount the driest part of the Sahara Desert receives.
Summer - 20,000 visitors and station workers.
Winter - 1,200 winter over station workers.
Record low of -128°F (-89.6° C).
Hypothermia, frostbite, snow-blindness, dehydration, sunburn.
are the Dry Valleys?
Located among mountains
by McMurdo Sound, on the part of Antarctica closest to New Zealand,
the valleys receive the equivalent of only 6 mm of water, on average,
each year in the form of snow.
Completely devoid of
terrestrial vegetation, the region is considered one of the most extreme
deserts on the planet.