How Big Is Antarctica?

Antarctica is approximately 5.5 million square miles in land area. As such, it is almost 1.5 times the size of the United States. It is also the fifth largest continent on Earth, with more land area than both Europe and Australia.

Despite the amount of area, Antarctica has no arable land since the large majority of the area is ice and the rest is barren rock. The continent contains more than 11,000 miles of coast line. It was not determined until 1840 that Antarctica was indeed a continent rather than a cluster of islands located at the South Pole. Researchers live for periods of time in Antarctica, but there are no people who are indigenous to the continent.