Antarctica is the southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and its surrounded by the Southern Ocean. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness.
Trips to Antarctica:
14 Day Customized Vacation to Antarctica A
14 Day Customized Vacation to Antarctica B
Antarctica has no indigenous population, and there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. European maps used to show this hypothesized land (which geographers believed to be much larger than its actual size) until Captain James Cook‘s ships crossed the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773, in December 1773 and again in January 1774. Cook came within about 120 km (75 mi) of the Antarctic coast before retreating in the face of field ice in January 1773.
The first recorded and confirmed landing was at Cape Adair in 1895 (by the Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship Antarctic.
In 1961 the international Antarctica treaty was signed by 46 countries. All 46 countries now act as the governing body. Thanks to this joint protection, Antarctica is a sanctuary and free of military operations.
Antarctica is the largest remaining wilderness on Earth and is still relatively untouched by human impact. It covers an area of 14 million sq. km (5.4 million sq. miles) around the South Pole. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet which is 4 km (2.5 miles) deep. The continent has about 90% of the world’s ice (and thereby about 70% of the world’s fresh water).