Antarctica

Antarctica is the wildest and most unknown place of our planet. It is often called simply the South Pole. Antarctica is not a country. There are no towns and no permanent population. The only people who live here are scientists, engaged in research. The number of stations that deal with science on the icy continent are around 80. 27 countries have territory in Antarctica. Australia, Argentina, Chile, Norway, New Zealand, Britain and France are countries which claim that their Antarctic territories are part of their national territory. Countries without such claims having an area of the ice continent are the U.S.,

antarctica landscapeGermany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, South Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, Russia, Peru, Poland, Brazil, Bulgaria, Belgium, China, Finland and Ecuador.

The countries have agreed not to infringe in any way the nature of the continent. Here Mining is prohibited. Only researching is allowed. Living conditions here are extremely harsh.

In winter the temperature falls below (-70) °C. It is not possible to live people, unless they have ensured special conditions for temporary residence.

Here do not live dangerous predators. The fauna is represented mainly by penguins. Few creatures are stable enough to survive here. Penguins for example, have a thick layer of subcutaneous fat that protects them from cold temperatures.

They are flocking in large colonies, numbering tens of thousands of birds. Between them, the air is slightly warmer and it helps the newly hatched young to survive huddled beneath them.

icebergs near antarcticaAntarctica has become a very attractive tourist destination, but only during the summer months when the cold is more bearable. This continent has an extremely cold polar climates and we can‘t find rower spot on this planet.

Indeed, here the temperatures are always below 0°C. Just range from (-70) °C in July to (-5) °C in January. Almost never fall rains. This place is as dry as the Sahara Desert.

The difference is that when is raining here, the precipitations always fall in the form of snow and once fallen, they are not melt but remain permanently, contributing to the formation of thick snow cover in Antarctica.

Icy continent is covered with very thick snow cover, which in places reaches 4000 meters. The extreme weight of ice depresses the rocks on which they are located, and they gradually sink.

mt. elbrus antarcticaIf  now the ice of Antarctica melt suddenly, the rocks that are under the ice will begin to rise rapidly. Antarctica, unlike the Arctic, has hard rocks under the snow, while the Arctic consists only of permafrost ocean waters. Antarctica also has very high mountains.

There are several large mountain ranges. The conditions in the mountains are really harsh! Imagine a combination of unfavourable latitude and high altitude.

Highest mountains in Antarctica are generally located in coastal parts of the continent. The biggest are the Trans Antarctic mountains which extend across almost the entire length of the continent.

Some of the high points here are Mintо peak (4163 m), Mt Jackson (4191 m), Mt Kirkpatrick (4528 m) and the highest of all – the Vinson Massif, rising to 4897 meters. They are all located in this part of Antarctica that faces the Pacific Ocean.

the climate of antarctica is very harshLately Antarctica became an attractive tourist destination. Today various travel companies are competing to offer the most exciting adventure of their customers.

Tourists usually travel on board of some major research or expedition ship. Travellings to Antarctica are held during the southern summer, from December to February.

And there is nothing unusual. Given how fierce may be the winter in these geographic latitudes the normal “tourist season” is confined in a very short period in the “warmest” part of the year.

The concept “tourism” in Antarctica is somewhat devoid of the well-known meaning because there are no hotels, where tourists can be accommodated.

Visitors usually stay on the ship on which they travel. The purpose to travel to this icy continent is to touch one completely unknown world.

As a whole this continent is inaccessible from the Pacific Ocean. On the one hand there remains the most remote part of Antarctica, on the other hand many of the banks there are steep and descend straight to the icy waters of the ocean.

Most accessible are these parts of Antarctica that are divided from South America through the Drake Strait. Here is the closest inhabited continental drought to the Antarctic.

Here, Chile and Argentina are the most neighbouring countries to this ice desert.

penguins are the masters of antarcticaAntarctic Peninsula is the main tourist destination on the continent. The reason is its relative proximity to South America. Here the distance between Ushuaia and Livingston Island is just over 950 km.

In various cruises, there are some significant differences. Sometimes tourists are allowed to go ashore when arrive in Antarctica (in particular some of the islands around the Antarctic Peninsula).

In other cruises, however, going ashore is prohibited. Before you embark on this journey to this detached end of the world, you should be aware that every journey carries some risk.

The waters here are not only extremely cold but very dangerous because they are filled with hundreds of thousands of icebergs. Sometimes, though rarely, happens the ship to hit into some of the floating icebergs.

In 2007 one Canadian cruise ship hit an iceberg and all of the passengers had to be evacuated to lifeboats, watching the ship sink before their eyes. Fortunately, all people have survived!

trip to the end of the world antarcticaYou might ask yourself the question, what are the most popular moorings of Antarctica.

These are two of the islands located at about a hundred kilometres from the Antarctic peninsula – a large Livingston Island and quite small but very beautiful island of Deception, which by its shape and volcanic origin strongly reminiscent of Bora-Bora and Santorini, but not in tropical, but in the Arctic version.

Here icy cold waters are calm as a mirror. Where the dry land is not covered by ice, it is black and barren. However, the most parts of the island are covered with snow and ice.

infertile land of antarcticaBesides being located in the most convenient and accessible place, these two islands will welcome you with superb weather for Antarctica.

Here in January temperatures can reach up to 3 and even in exceptional cases up to 4-5°C, although this is rather an exception. And although this is one of the most friendly places on the continent, do not forget that you are not in Saint Tropez.

In Antarctica you must be a well-equipped with special warm clothes even in the summer. What you used to wear in Europe in the winter may seem funny and ridiculous here. If begin to blow strong and cold wind, the temperature very easily can drop to (-10) or even (-20) °C.

However, if you are better equipped this corner of the world can offer you an experiences that can not offer even the most exciting and sophisticated resorts on the planet.