interesting facts about Antartica

September 23, 2009 | In: Geography Facts

About fifty million years ago, the continent of Antarctica had dense, lush jungles! Many kinds of dinosaurs lived there. Today, it is a desolate land of rock and ice.

250 million years ago, all the continents were joined into one huge land mass called Pangaea. The part that is now Antarctica was much closer to the equator, and it had tropical jungles.

Because of movements within the Earth, the land masses have slowly drifted and changed shape over millions of years. About fifty million years ago, Antarctica became a separate land mass. Over time, it drifted toward the south pole and became covered with thick layers of ice.

Only about 0.4 percent of Antarctica is not covered by ice.

Antarctica gets a lot colder than the Arctic regions.
Why? Because Antarctica is much bigger, so the moderating effects of the oceans don’t warm up the center of the continent as much as they warm up the center of the ice-sheet regions of the Arctic, at the other end of the Earth.

In 1983, the lowest temperature every recorded was on Antarctica: -129 degrees Fahrenheit.

Antarctica is one and a half times the size of United States.

Antarctica is the driest, windiest, and coldest continent.

There are no peoples native to Antarctica.

The interior of Antarctica is the world’s biggest desert, with the precipitation (if it were melted) averaging under 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water a year.

Antarctica gets its name from the Greek language. In a bit of deviousness, the term because it means opposite the Arctic.

Antartica is the 5th biggest continent.

Wildlife in Antarctica is limited to the coastal areas and includes penguins, seals and some Antarctic birds.

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