Facts About Antarctica For Kids
Antarctica, the southernmost continent on Earth, is a fascinating place that is home to some of the most amazing creatures on the planet. While it may seem like an icy wasteland to most of us, there are many interesting facts about this continent that can amaze and inspire children. Here are some fascinating facts about Antarctica for kids.
1. Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth: With temperatures dropping as low as -128.6°F (-89.2°C), Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. It is so cold that the only people who live there are scientists and researchers who stay in heated buildings or tents.
2. It’s the driest place on Earth: Believe it or not, Antarctica is the driest place on Earth. It is even drier than the Sahara Desert! This is because most of the moisture in the atmosphere freezes and falls as snow or ice, rather than rain.
3. Antarctica is the largest desert in the world: Even though Antarctica is covered in ice and snow, it is technically classified as a desert. This is because it receives less than 6 inches (16 cm) of precipitation per year.
4. There are no permanent residents in Antarctica: While up to 4,000 people can live and work there during the summer months, there are no full-time residents living in Antarctica. The scientists and researchers who work there only stay for a few months at a time before returning to their homes.
5. Antarctica is home to largest land animal: The elephant seal, which can weigh up to 8,800 pounds (4,000 kg), is the largest land animal in Antarctica. These seals spend most of their time in the water, but come ashore to mate and molt.
6. Penguins are the most iconic animal in Antarctica: Most people picture penguins when they think of Antarctica, and for good reason. There are 7 different species of penguins living in Antarctica, including the emperor penguin which is the largest species.
7. Antarctica is covered in ice: Antarctica is covered in about 98% ice, with an average ice thickness of 1.6 km (1 mile). This ice, which is up to 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) thick in some places, stores around 70% of the world’s fresh water.
8. There is no time zone in Antarctica: Since there are no permanent residents in Antarctica, there is no need for a time zone. Different stations simply use the time of their home countries, or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for coordination.
9. Antarctica was discovered around 1820: Antarctica was discovered by a Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev in January 1820. The continent was first sighted by the men while they were sailing around the world.
10. Antarctica has a unique treaty: Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System, which is a unique international agreement that sets aside the continent as a scientific preserve, free from military activity. The treaty was signed by 12 countries, including the United States, and has since been ratified by 54 countries around the world.
In conclusion, Antarctica is an incredible continent filled with unique wonders that have been a source of fascination for centuries. Children who are interested in learning more about this icy place can explore these fun facts and gain an appreciation for the incredible landscapes and creatures that call it home.