Antarctic Facts

Antarctica is the southernmost continent located around the Geographic South Pole.
Antarctica is also the highest, driest, coldest, and windiest continent on earth.


usa flag Palmer Station (64° 46' South / 64° 03' West)

Average annual temperature: -3°C (+26°F)
Average summer temperature: +2°C (+36°F)
Average winter temperature: -10°C (+14°F)

McMurdo Station (77° 51' South / 166° 40' East)

High Temperature: +8.3°C (+47°F)
Low Temperature: -50°C (-58°F)
Mean annual Temperature: -17°C (0°F)

usa flag South Pole Station (90° South)

High Temperature: -16°C (+3.1°F)
Low Temperature: -82.7°C (-117°F)
Mean annual Temperature: -48°C (-56°F)

Coldest natural temperature on record anywhere:

russia flag
Vostok station (Russian)
The official record is from Vostok station on July 21, 1983
-89.2°C (-128.6°F)


australia flag Mawson Station (Australia)
Average wind speed of 67km/hr (44mph)
Highest winds up to (198.8mph)


compare Average elevation: 2300 m (7546 ft/ 1.4 miles)
Highest point of ice cap: 4100 m (13,451 ft/ 2.5 miles)
Vinson Massif is 4897 m (16,066 ft/ 3.0 miles)

Area: 13,000,000 km2 (Twice the size of Australia)
Antarctica is 1.5 times the size of the continuous United States.
The sea ice adds and additional 20,000,000 km2!

World's largest glacier: Lambert Glacier (40 km wide/ 400 km long)


70% of the world's fresh water is tied up in Antarctic ice.
only 0.4% of Antarctica is *not* covered in ice.
Antarctica is the driest continent on earth with an absolute humidity lower than that of the Sahara Desert.

Frequently Asked Questions

penguinWhat is it like to Live in Alaska?

    Globe.gif Well, I really don't know. I've never been to Alaska. You see, Alaska is a State in the northern part of North America. Antarctica, where I work, is a whole continent in the deep South, even further south than South America. If you have a globe, look on the very bottom. That is where I work! Alaska and Antarctica are both similar as they are usually covered in snow and both can be very cold, but there are some very big differences. You will see many examples in the following questions.

polar bearAre there Polar Bears in Antarctica?

    No there are no Polar bears in Antarctica. Polar bears are only found in the Northern Hemisphere.

Are there penguins at the North Pole?

    No there are no penguins at the North Pole. Penguins are only found in the Southern Hemisphere. The Northernmost penguin is found in the Galapagos Islands.

+ What would happen if a polar bear met a penguin?

What kind of food do you eat?

    We eat just about anything that you would back home. Sometimes we have hamburgers and hot dogs, sometimes we have steak and lobster.
    I have had seasons where the food was really good! I was impressed that being so far away from everything that the food would be that delicious. In fact I think that I had some of the best breads and cakes that I have *ever* Tasted. Two of the bakers lived on my floor, one season, and would try out new things on me. And they really knew how to make the whole system work. However, one season I have had the worst food I have ever tasted. That season we ran out of all sorts of things like butter and cheese. Food can really affect how well a season works and that season was a lowspot.

What's this about your hair??

Go to: Antarctic indexHome


e-mail E-mail Marc at