Antarctica is an ice covered continent, located in the Earth's South Pole. It is the fifth largest continent and the coldest place on our planet. The temperature in the interior of Antarctica is much colder than on the coasts. The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -128.56 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 degrees Celsius), registered on July 21, 1983, at Antarctica's Vostok station. The highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 °C) at Esperanza Base, on the Antarctic Peninsula, on March 24, 2015.|
This amazing continent has two seasons : summer and winter. Earth is tilted in space and the direction of tilt never changes. During summer, Antarctica is on the side of Earth tilted toward the sun. It is therefore Land of the Midnight Sun, with 24 hours daylight. In winter, Antarctica is on the side of Earth tilted away from the sun. It is in total darkness 24 hours a day.
Antarctica can be classified as a desert. It does not rain or snow a lot there. When it snows, the snow does not melt and builds up over many years to make large, thick sheets of ice, called ice sheets. Antarctica is made up of lots of ice in the form of glaciers, ice shelves and icebergs.
Antarctica has no trees or bushes. The only plants that can live in a place that cold are moss and algae.
High densities of invertebrates also live in the ocean, with Antarctic krill forming dense and widespread swarms during the summer. Benthic animal communities also exist around the continent. Over 1000 fungi species have been found on and around Antarctica.
The rich Southern Ocean attracts Baleen whales like the Humpback, Minke and Blue. The rich marine mammal life also bring in the Orcas.
The abundance of fish is a magnet for Penguins and Seals. Six species of Penguins -
Adélie, Chinstrap, Emperor, Gentoo, Macaroni and Rockhopper plus six species of Seals - Antarctic Fur, Crabeater, Leopard, Ross and Weddell all feed in the waters in and around Antarctica.
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