Happy Antarctica Day!

Celebrate peace and science in the Antarctic.

On this day, December 1st, 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations so that the continent would be a place only to be used for peace and science. These diverse nations established the agreement to protect Antarctica. To celebrate this milestone of peace in our civilization, here are 5 fun facts about Antarctica:

1. Only continent without a native human population

Antarctica, polar regions, ice, zodiac

Several thousand scientists and support staff periodically inhabit Antarctica in pursuit of research, however there is no permanent population.

2. Coldest, windiest, driest continent with the highest average elevation

Antarctica, seal, ice, polar regions

In fact, about 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness. It’s a frozen desert with very little precipitation.

3. Largest fully terrestrial animal is an insect, a wingless midge, Belgica antarctica

Antarctica, ice, polar regions

The Antarctic region is home to a diversity of wildlife from wandering albatrosses to Antarctic krill to leopard seals to emperor penguins to blue whales. However, the largest animal that lives purely on land is Antarctic midge (2-6 mm in length).

4. World’s largest marine protected area designated off the coast of Antarctica

Ross Sea, Antarctica, phytoplankton

An area of 598,000 square miles in the Ross Sea received international protection this past October. The Ross Sea is a remote and largely pristine area that is sometimes called the “Last Ocean” because it is largely untouched by humans.

5. We just released a new Ocean Fun Pack focused on Polar Regions!

ocean fun pack, polar regions, Arctic, Antarctic

Looking for some activities to celebrate Antarctica Day with your kids? Check out our new Ocean Fun Pack full of word searches, mazes and crossword puzzles. It’s free and downloadable - all you need to do is register here!