Based on the surface Antarctica is the fifth continent of the world. Antarctica is the continent around the South Pole of the Earth. Antarctica means "in front of the north". The continent is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays the sea areas around the Antarctic are called Southern Ocean or Antarctic Ocean.
Antarctica contains 90% of all the ice in the earth. It is therefore the coldest area on earth. The continent is almost completely covered by a thick package of ice with an average thickness of 2200 meters. The thickest point of the ice cover 4776 meters thick. The official cold record of -89.2 ° C was once measured in Antarctica.
Antarctica was first discovered in 1820. On December 14, 1911, the South Pole was reached for the first time. Antarctica is the driest continent on earth with an average of 170 mm rainfall a year. The continent has the highest annual average wind speed of 19.5 m / s (70.2 km / h).
Because of the extreme cold almost nothing is growing in Antarctica. There are only two flowering plants and some mosses growing in Antarctica. Along the shores there live many animals such as penguins, whales and seals. There are approximately 1000 people living in Antarctica. This number varies by season. The continent has no permanent residents but several governments have research stations which are inhabited.
Antarctica is not politically pided but different countries have claimed in the first half of the 20th century several pieces. The requisitions have little significance but they are respected by cartographers so that the continent is often depicted as a huge ice cream cake. Most countries have a research center in Antarctica within the area claimed by them. In 1961, the Antarctic Treaty has been drawn up which stipulates that scientific research should take place but that bans military activity on the continent. The continent of Antarctica contains no countries and no country flags.
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