[91], The terrestrial and native all year round species appears to be the descendants of ancestors who lived in geothermally warmed environments during the last ice age, when these areas were the only places on the continent not covered by ice. In 1895, the first confirmed landing was conducted by a team of Norwegians. Most countries have a research center in Antarctica within the area claimed by them. The common misconception that the territories claimed by various sovereign nations in Antarctica are independent countries is not correct. Some of these claims are recognised by other countries, but many aren’t. [109][110], Several countries claim sovereignty in certain regions. There are currently 70 permanent research stations scattered across the continent of Antarctica, which represent 29 countries from every continent on Earth. [178], There is a large area of low ozone concentration or "ozone hole" over Antarctica. He who owns the information, owns the world – said V.Cherchill. While there are no countries in Antarctica, there are several territories. The emperor penguin is the only penguin that breeds during the winter in Antarctica; it and the Adélie penguin breed farther south than any other penguin. [54] In 2004, a potentially active underwater volcano was found in the Antarctic Peninsula by American and Canadian researchers. [45] The first women to step onto the South Pole were Pam Young, Jean Pearson, Lois Jones, Eileen McSaveney, Kay Lindsay and Terry Tickhill in 1969. This is a list of the countries of the world by continent, according to the United Nations Statistics Division, displayed with their respective national flags and capitals. [168][169] The net contribution to sea level from the Antarctic Peninsula is more likely to be a direct result of the much greater atmospheric warming there. [99], About 1,150 species of fungi have been recorded from Antarctica, of which about 750 are non-lichen-forming and 400 are lichen-forming. is the icy continent at the South Pole. Qantas resumed commercial overflights to Antarctica from Australia in the mid-1990s. Seven nations have made claims in Antarctica, but about 30 of the countries that have signed the Antarctic Treaty send personnel to research stations on the Antarctic continent and the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica's total area is 14.2 million square kilometers (5.5 million square miles), and it has a total population of 1,106 people. It was once believed that the lake had been sealed off for 500,000 to one million years, but a recent survey suggests that, every so often, there are large flows of water from one lake to another. Heavy snowfalls are common on the coastal portion of the continent, where snowfalls of up to 1.22 metres (48 in) in 48 hours have been recorded. Among these are pieces blasted off the Moon, and probably Mars, by impacts. Antarctica was not always cold, dry, and covered in ice sheets. At 14,200,000 square kilometres (5,500,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of Australia. As a result of continued warming, the polar ice caps melted and much of Gondwana became a desert. Brazil currently has a "zone of interest" but not an actual claim. More surprising are small forms of life such as sea cucumbers and free-swimming snails found in both polar oceans. [69] It was first recorded near the Beardmore Glacier by Frank Wild on the Nimrod Expedition, and now low-grade coal is known across many parts of the Transantarctic Mountains. The main mineral resource known on the continent is coal. During the Nimrod Expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1907, parties led by Edgeworth David became the first to climb Mount Erebus and to reach the South Magnetic Pole. Antarctic fisheries in 2000–01 reported landing 112,934 tonnes. In the dry valleys, the same effect occurs over a rock base, leading to a desiccated landscape.[53]. Minor eruptions are frequent, and lava flow has been observed in recent years. Almost all of the continent's land is covered by a thick layer of ice.On average the ice is 1.9 km/6,200 ft deep. Since Antarctica is largely uninhabited, the continent is not officially divided up into time zones. Europe comprises 51 countries. [132], Small-scale "expedition tourism" has existed since 1957 and is currently subject to Antarctic Treaty and Environmental Protocol provisions, but in effect self-regulated by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). This has led to speculation that, if life ever occurred on Mars, it might have looked similar to Antarctic fungi such as Cryomyces antarcticus, and Cryomyces minteri. The settlements included Grytviken, Leith Harbour, King Edward Point, Stromness, Husvik, Prince Olav Harbour, Ocean Harbour and Godthul. Antarctic sightseeing flights (which did not land) operated out of Australia and New Zealand until the fatal crash of Air New Zealand Flight 901 in 1979 on Mount Erebus, which killed all 257 aboard. Mount Erebus and Mount Terror are named after two ships from his expedition: HMS Erebus and Terror. However, there are seven countries that claim parts of the continent, and there are many other countries that send groups of scientists and workers each year. Many of the stations are staffed year-round, the winter-over personnel typically arriving from their home countries for a one-year assignment. Over time these swamps became deposits of coal in the Transantarctic Mountains. More than 50 Antarctic stations were established for the IGY by just 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norwa… If found, these resilient creatures could further bolster the argument for extraterrestrial life in extremely cold, methane-rich environments. East Antarctica lies on the Indian Ocean side of the Transantarctic Mountains and comprises Coats Land, Queen Maud Land, Enderby Land, Mac. Motion of the ice sheet tends to concentrate the meteorites at blocking locations such as mountain ranges, with wind erosion bringing them to the surface after centuries beneath accumulated snowfall. [39] One month later, the doomed Scott Expedition reached the pole. A little known fact about Antarctica is that it the largest desert on Earth. [46], On 28 November 1979, Air New Zealand Flight 901, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 people on board. The first meteorite was found in 1912 and named the Adelie Land meteorite. These specimens, particularly ALH84001 discovered by ANSMET, are at the centre of the controversy about possible evidence of microbial life on Mars. A total of 37,506 tourists visited during the 2006–07 Austral summer with nearly all of them coming from commercial ships; 38,478 were recorded in 2015–16. The Antarctic Treaty entered into force in 1961. The apparently simple morphology, scarcely differentiated structures, metabolic systems and enzymes still active at very low temperatures, and reduced life cycles shown by such fungi make them particularly suited to harsh environments such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys. By the start of the Devonian period (416 Ma), Gondwana was in more southern latitudes and the climate was cooler, though fossils of land plants are known from this time. ; A UN-recognized non-member state: Vatican City. [48] Ousland got aid from a kite on parts of the distance. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58 aimed to end Cold War divisions among the scientific community by promoting global scientific exchange. [162][164], Some of Antarctica has been warming up; particularly strong warming has been noted on the Antarctic Peninsula. [97] The southern rockhopper penguin has distinctive feathers around the eyes, giving the appearance of elaborate eyelashes. Third, the Earth is at aphelion in July (i.e., the Earth is farthest from the Sun in the Antarctic winter), and the Earth is at perihelion in January (i.e., the Earth is closest to the Sun in the Antarctic summer). In 1984, Juan Pablo Camacho was born at the Frei Montalva Station, becoming the first Chilean born in Antarctica. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent". 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