13,829,430 km2 | 5,339,543 miles2
1.4x bigger than the USA
58x bigger than the UK
1.8x bigger than Australia
(0.32% of total)
44,890 km2 | 17,330 miles2
About 4,000 on scientific bases in the short summer 1,000 total in winter, around 30,000-40,000 summer tourists – and this place is 1.4 x bigger than the USA!
There are NO permanent residents and NEVER has been a native population
Population density = 0.00007 winter / 0.00028 summer per km2
World average = 54
Greenland (next lowest) = 0.03
Largest Ice Shelves
Ross ice shelf:
(about the size of France)
510,680 km2 | 197,974 miles2
Ronne-Filchner ice shelf:
(about the size of Spain)
439,920 km2 | 169,850 miles2
Lowest recoded on earth
Vostok station -89.2°C / -128.6°F
Average summer temperature at South Pole
-27.5°C / -17.5°F
Average winter temperature at South Pole
-60°C / -76°F
3 factors rule in Antarctica
– cold, wind and altitude.
Antarctica holds the world record for each of these three things.
The temperature falls as you leave the coast as the continent slopes upwards and temperature falls as you go higher.
Transantarctic Mountain chain, length:
3,300 km | 2,050 miles
Highest 3 mountains:
(sometimes called “Vinson Massif”)
4,892 m | 16,050 ft
4,852 m | 15,918 ft
4,661 m | 15,292 ft
Mawson station in Antarctica is the windiest place on earth.
Average wind speed:
37 kmh / 23 mph
Maximum recorded gust:
248.4 kmh / 154 mph
Antarctica has many land forms
Antarctica has 70% of all the world’s freshwater frozen as ice – and 90% of all the world’s ice.
Mean: 1,829 m / 6,000 ft
Mean Thickness East Antarctica: 2,226 m / 7,300 ft
Mean thickness West Antarctica: 1,306 m / 4,285 ft
Maximum ice thickness: 4,776 m / 15,670ft
Lowest point: 2,496 m / 8,188 ft
Bentley subglacial trench, depth below sea-level
Discovery and Exploration
Antarctica was imagined by the ancient Greeks, but not even seen until 1820.
The first time anyone set foot on Antarctica was in 1821.
The first year-round occupation – overwintering – was in 1898.
The South Pole was first reached in 1911.