Antarctica is a vast continent and so, just 40 facts broken down into 2 articles found here and here cannot be enough to cover everything about the continent. So, a third article makes sense. In this article, let us take a look at some of the most fascinating Antarctica facts that you simply love to read. Let’s start…
Antarctica Facts: 1-5
1. Antarctica’s actual size is not really constant. During winters, the size of the continent almost doubles. This happens because of thick ice sheets that form along the coasts during the winter months.
2. For our convenience, we have divided the whole of the continent into two distinct parts – West Antarctica and East Antarctica.
3. West Antarctica makes up only 1/3rd of the whole continent. East Antarctica makes up the remaining 2/3rd of the continent. East Antarctica is nearly as big as Australia.
4. West Antarctica is not a continuous land mass. It is in fact, a series of islands that are frozen. These islands stretch out towards the tip of South America.
5. The East Antarctica and the West Antarctica are separated by a range of mountains called the Transantarctic Mountains. These mountains stretch across the entire continent.
Antarctica Facts: 6-10
6. The ice sheet covering the East Antarctica has an average thickness of 1.2 miles or about 2 kilometers.
7. The Antarctic ice sheet is not really a smooth sheet. It is an expanse of continuously changing ice. There are massive glaciers that continuously inch across the whole continent.
8. The moving glaciers actually create what is known as Crevasse fields that have cracks that run hundreds of feet in depth. These cracks can be found across the whole of the continent.
9. The cracks on the Crevasse fields are often covered with a shallow snow layer that fool people into thinking that the ice covering is smooth and continuous.
10. The continent is covered by ice. Despite having so much of ice, the continent is considered as desert because of the very low amounts of precipitation it receives from sky. This makes Antarctica as the largest desert in world.