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COOLEST Facts About Antarctica! von Wacky Universe   6 months ago


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Antarctica is one of the most desolate places on Earth, and it’s one of the most extraordinary as well. There are things about it that will shock you, make you wonder, and probably make you want to check it out for yourself. From enormous amounts of ice and freshwater to volcanoes and buried lakes, Antarctica has it all. Let’s take a look and see just what our southernmost continent has to offer; it’s time to check out Amazing Antarctica!

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5. Volcanism
All across Antarctica, one can find extinct volcanoes galore, but there are still a couple of active ones as well. There’s one located on Deception Island, which is almost round in shape, and in the center of the island, there’s a bay called Port Foster, which is the volcano's caldera. The volcano on Deception Island erupts under the water and ice, making it a subglacial volcano, which is pretty rare. The last major eruption at the island occurred in August of 1970, although nobody was around to see it at the time. There’s also Mount Erebus, which is the second highest volcano in all of Antarctica, and as far as active volcanoes go, it’s found farther south on the planet than any other. It stands a massive 12,448 feet high, and it has been active for the past 1.3 million years. It too is pretty unique, as it is classified as a polygenetic stratovolcano, as its top half is a stratocone and the bottom a shield. It has long-lasting eruptive activity that is low in intensity, making it great for long-term study.

(Deception ^^)

4. Lots and Lots of Research
Antarctica is an interesting place where many scientists head to perform all kinds of research. Unlike the many drifting stations set up in the Arctic, a lot of the stations in Antarctica are permanent and are either fixed straight to the ice or rock. There are roughly 45 permanent stations that operate year-round built by a total of 42 different countries who signed the Antarctic Treaty, and about another 30 which operate only in the summer. Although there are many abandoned or closed-down stations still residing on the continent. During the summer season, which is winter in the northern hemisphere, there are close to 4,000 people on the continent doing research. In the winter, around June in the northern hemisphere, the population on Antarctica drops to around 1,000. There’s much to find out there among all that snow and ice, and especially beneath it, so research is likely to continue for as long as humankind is still dwelling on the earth.

3. Light and Dark
Now, if you know anything about the Antarctic or even most of the Arctic, you’ll know that there are certain times of year where they experience darkness for 24 hours. But this 24 hours of darkness is offset by 24 hours of light about six months apart. The darkness occurs in the winter for the region, and the light occurs in the summer, and in the summertime, something pretty amazing can be observed. It’s called a midnight sun, which is precisely what it sounds like! It’s where the sun remains visible at midnight local time, but what seems even stranger is that that Sun remains visible at later (or earlier) times, such as 1, 2, 3, and 4 am! The opposite would be just as strange, as it could be midday and the darkness of night would continuously envelop the area for months at a time.

2. Chock-Full of Meteorites
Antarctica is a great place to find meteorites as the continent is mostly untouched and has remained virtually unchanged over the course of millions of years. Most of the meteorites recovered there fall at high altitudes, then get covered up with snow, and then make their way downhill over centuries in sheets of flowing ice. That’s where ANSMET comes in. ANSMET is an abbreviation for Antarctic Search for Meteorites, and teams can basically go and just pick up the meteorites as they eventually make their way to the surface due to wind erosion! They become concentrated in certain areas due to them all being trapped within the flowing ice, which makes for quite the pickings compared to almost anywhere else in the world.