What Are Some Interesting Facts About Antarctica?


Quick Answer

Some interesting facts about Antarctica include the extreme weather, the large size of the landmass and the massive sheet of ice covering the ground. Antarctica also contains most of the world's fresh water and a buried mountain range.

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What Are Some Interesting Facts About Antarctica?
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Full Answer

Antarctica has some of the most extreme weather on Earth. The coldest recorded temperature found on Antarctica, or the face of the planet, is -128 degrees Fahrenheit. However, despite the cold and the fact that 99 percent of the continent is covered by ice, the Antarctic Dry Valleys are the driest areas on Earth and are almost completely devoid of snow and ice. Antarctica is also the windiest place on Earth, with wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

The 1-mile-thick Antarctic ice sheets contain 70 percent of all the fresh water in the world. The largest ice shelf, the Ross Ice Shelf, stretches up to 197,000 square miles as a solid sheet. In fact, the ice is so thick that an entire range of mountains, the Gamburtsev Mountains that rise 9,000 feet, are completely hidden underneath more than 15,000 feet of ice. Also hidden under the ice are at least 200 liquid lakes, the largest of which is Lake Vostok, which is the size of Lake Ontario.

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