Antarctica Holidays

Antarctica Continent

Antarctica has always been somewhat of a mysterious place. Even people who consider themselves to have a good education and a good grasp of geography don’t know much about the Antarctica continent.


It’s a pretty sizeable landmass, but since it’s so cold and barren, most people never get the chance to explore the continent. All most people know about the Antarctica continent is that it hosts the South Pole, and that it’s covered in ice. Though you probably wouldn’t think of the Antarctica continent when you’re planning a vacation, it’s a cool place to see, especially if you’re looking for an unconventional kind of trip.

Antarctica is Populated by Scientists

Antarctica is an interesting place, especially considering there is no full-time population. As far as we know there is no natives, nor have there ever been. This makes the Antarctica continent truly unique from every other continent on Earth. The only population in Antarctica is the seasonal scientists who stay in research stations spread across the continent. There are usually at least 1,000 scientists and researchers in Antarctica at a time, and at the height of the summer there might be up to 4,000 people on the entire continent. This is significant especially if you know that Antarctica is about 1.3x the size of Europe, and is the 5th-largest continent on the planet.

Antarctica - A Land of Extremes

Antarctica is everything but boring. On average, Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and driest continent on Earth. It also has the highest average elevation. Technically, Antarctica is actually considered a desert because of the low precipitation. However, it’s not your typical desert. Roughly 98% of the land is covered in thick ice, and the ice is rarely less than a mile thick. This means that the ice never really melts (except slowly as a result of global warming), so the landscape doesn’t change much.

A Relatively New Discovery

Though the Antarctica continent has been known about for as long as water travel was possible, it wasn’t until around 1900 that the land was first explored. It was first spotted (and recorded) in 1820, but settlers avoided the area because of the harsh weather and lack of natural resources. The land remained nameless until 1890, when Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew named it Antarctica on one of his maps. The word Antarctica comes from the Greek word meaning “opposite to the north”.

A Politically Neutral Continent

Unlike almost every landmass in the world, Antarctica is not claimed by any specific countries. Instead, countries simply agreed to treat the land with respect, and use it for research purposes. The Antarctic Treaty laid out the terms of the agreement, and has been signed by 46 countries so far. Some things the treaty accomplished were banning mining and military activities, and promoting scientific research and international cooperation. Antarctica is one of the only areas that you can find people from all over the world, often working together to further science.

Antarctica Continent