25 Astonishing Facts About Antarctica

A collection of mind-blowing truths about the wildest continent. These fascinating facts showcase the extreme and unique nature of Antarctica, highlighting why it stands out as the most extraordinary place on our planet.

“There is just one insect native to Antarctica.” Known as the Belgica antarctica, or more commonly known as the Antarctic midge. What a guy!

“In Antarctica, research centers ‘heat their refrigerators’ to avoid food from over-freezing and allow for thawing to take place and much of the food served to researchers is often expired.”

“The planet Uranus (1781) was discovered before the continent of Antarctica (1820).”

“TIL about Deep Lake, a lake in Antarctica that has such high salinity, 10 times saltier than the oceans, that it never freezes, even in the winter. Conditions in the lake are so hostile that almost nothing can survive there.”

5. Two ATMs

While not that “insane” the only two ATMs on the continent are located at McMurdo Station and are operated by Wells Fargo. The fees must be insane though.

6. Blood Falls

According to Wikipedia, Blood Falls “is an outflow of an iron oxide–tainted plume of saltwater, flowing from the tongue of Taylor Glacier onto the ice-covered surface of West Lake Bonney in the Taylor Valley.” Still creepy though.

7. Appendix Removed Before Visiting

People planning to “winter” on Antartica need to have their appendix removed beforehand due to the lack of doctors on the continent.

8. Fish With Antifreeze

Some fish native to Antarctica have a natural “antifreeze” in their blood to protect from the frigid temperatures.

9. No official time zone

Since there is no active government, researchers in Antarctica use thee time zones of the country which operates their base. They truly are in a wold of their own.


“A Soviet surgeon removed his own appendix during an Antarctic expedition in 1961. He was the only doctor of the expedition and become seriously ill. Operating mostly by feeling around, the surgeon worked for an hour and 45 minutes.”


“Fossil remains of an extinct colossus penguin was nearly 7 feet tall and weighed 250 pounds, unearthed in Antarctica”


“TIL about Dr. Rodney Marks, the only person to be murdered in Antarctica. Due to isolation and weather, it took 6 months to get a proper autopsy, which determined he was poisoned with methanol. Complex jurisdictional issues regarding Antarctica means it’s likely his murder will never be solved.”


“TIL Antarctica has a fire department. It’s needed because Antarctica is dry, windy, not much water to put out a fire, and death for people without shelter.”


“The world’s largest desert is not the Sahara, but Antarctica. The Antarctic Desert covers an area of about 5.5 million square miles, making it the driest and windiest continent on Earth.”


Emilio Palma was the first person born on Antarctica in 1978. As such, he is the only living person to have been the first born on a continent.


“A scientist stationed in Antarctica managed to score a date through Tinder with a girl camping just 45 minutes away.”


“There is an exclusive club in Antarctica called Club 300. In order to become a member one have to warm themselves in a 200 degree sauna, and then run outside naked and touch the Ceremonial South Pole where it’s 100 degrees below.”


“In 2007 workers in Antarctica discovered several perfectly preserved crates of Scotch Whiskey left behind by Ernest Shackleton in 1909.”


“McMurdo Station, the largest research community in Antarctica, is on an actively volcanic island.”


“Antarctica holds 90% of the world’s ice, and 70% of all the Earth’s fresh water. If it melted, it would raise global sea levels by about 200 feet.”


“There is an old Soviet scientific research hut buried 20 ft. under snow in one of the most inaccessible places in Antarctica. If you can make it in the hut there is a visitors book you can sign.”


“TIL of the Mount Erebus Disaster, a 1979 plane crash in Antarctica in which 237 tourists and 20 crew were killed on a sightseeing flight due to an error in flight planning and a phenomenon known as ‘sector whiteout’ in which there is no contrast between the sky and the ground.”


“For those who aren’t familiar with the south pole in the winter, for the U.S. there aren’t any ways off or onto the continent during the winter season. There isn’t any sunlight for several months, and temperatures can drop to a blisteringly cold -80F. Anyway, during the interview process my friend learned that it’s apparently tradition for everyone staying for the winter season to get together for a double-feature of The Shining and The Thing.”


“Hundreds of mummified seals have been found as far as 41 miles inland in Antarctica. One tested specimen had been sitting out in the open for 1,500 years. Researchers theorize that 1-2 seals annually get lost during white-out events and accidentally travel inland, where they eventually die.”


“There is an abandoned hut known as Scott’s Hut in Antarctica from the early 1900’s that was dug up with everything still intact.”

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