Antarctica is an enormous polar region, which encircles the entire southern part of the Earth. It includes Antarctica - the mainland, consisting of eternal ice, as well as the southern regions of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The wildlife of Antarctica is unique and fragile.Cruise ship off the coast of Antarctica.
This water area is called the southern ocean. But there is no consensus on this issue, as some scientists recognize this name, while others reject it, arguing that the ocean is a body of water surrounded by land. And the Southern Ocean is a continuation of 3 oceans, which surrounds Antarctica from the south, and has no coasts from the north. That is why there is disagreement in opinions about the name of the ocean.
The area of this polar region is 52.5 million square kilometers. Thus, the Antarctic is almost 2 times larger than the Arctic.A tusk is needed for a narwhal to measure temperature.
The climate here is also much more severe - in winter it keeps on average -60 degrees Celsius, in summer the temperature is higher than -30 degrees. But in the Antarctic it is not always so frosty, in the summer the temperature was +20 degrees. But near the south pole, the temperature in winter can drop to -90 degrees.
Seas and islands
There are 13 seas in the Antarctic that are located off the coast of Antarctica: the Somov Sea, Cosmonauts, Lazarev, the Commonwealth, Amundsen, Mawson, Riser-Larsen, Ross, Skosh, Bellingshausen, Duerville, Davis and Weddell.Map of Antarctica.
In the Southern Ocean there are archipelagos, among the most notable of which is the Kerguelen archipelago, which forms 1 large island and 300 small islands. The climate in this archipelago is quite acceptable - in the coldest winter period in August (in the southern hemisphere winter begins in June and summer in December) the temperature drops only to -1 degree Celsius. And in the midst of the summer month of February, the temperature rises to +9 degrees. Such a comfortable climate is explained by the fact that the archipelago is remote from Antarctica at an impressive distance of 2 thousand kilometers. A huge number of elephant seals and the largest penguin colony inhabit the Kerguelen archipelago.Sea Elephant.
North of Antarctica is the South Shetland Islands archipelago. The Bransfield Strait flows between these islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, and the Drake Strait separates the islands from South America.
Nearby is the South Orkney Islands Archipelago with a climate that is quite acceptable for living. In July, the air cools down only to -10 degrees, and in the summer (February) the temperature rises to zero. In a particularly warm summer, the temperature can rise to +10 degrees, but in winter frosts can exceed -40.Skua grabbed a penguin chick.
A huge colony of penguins lives on the Orkney Islands. These archipelagos are also being mastered by people, for example, on the Shetland Islands about 10 scientific stations of various countries of the world are located.
Antarctica began to be singled out as a separate region, after Antarctica was discovered in 1820. This discovery was made by Mikhail Lazarev and Thaddeus Bellingshausen.Amudsen-Scott Station.
On the icy continent is a great many natural resources. For example, in East Antarctica there are large deposits of tungsten, manganese, copper and precious metals - silver, gold and platinum, and there are also diamonds. In addition, deposits of mica, coal, apatite, lapis lazuli and iron ore were discovered.
Animal and plant world
A large number of animals live in the waters of the polar region: whales, seals, fur seals, various fish. All these marine inhabitants feel absolutely comfortable in the cold waters of Antarctica.Albatross over the ice of the Antarctic.
Birds live here - mostly penguins, skuas and albatrosses. Moss, algae and lichens grow on the mainland, and tundra plants predominate on the islands.
Antarctica is considered a unique natural phenomenon, therefore it is not surprising that this, at first glance, frosty and inhospitable southern region attracts great interest among tourists. Each year, 40 thousand vacationers come to the Antarctic. For tourists, the Antarctic Peninsula with a milder climate is of interest. Cruises on the icy shores of the Southern Ocean are especially popular.