20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Antarctica

All of the continents are known for something. Asia is the largest and most densely populated. Africa is home to the most countries in the world as well as the Nile, the world’s largest river. South America contains the Ecuadorian Mount Chimborazo, the highest point on Earth. Not only is Australia literally a country unto itself, but it is also Earth’s largest island. Europe is home to the world’s smallest country – Vatican City. North America contains every climate and is home to the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Superior. But wait – what about little old Antarctica, that cold place on the bottom of the globe? What is there to know about frigid barren land made of ice? The truth is that there are plenty of fantastic and interesting things to know about the loneliest and coldest continent on Earth, and here are just a few fun facts to get you started.

Heating Things Up

Antarctica, as one might easily guess, is not at all a hot place. The highest temperature the continent has ever recorded was 53.5°F (17.5°C).

Barren Land

Most people only think of deserts as dry, sandy, and dusty places that are always painfully hot. Actually, according to the definition, the icy, fiercely cold Antarctica is the largest desert in the world.

Unexpected Eruptions

Did you know that Antarctica is home to the world’s southernmost volcano? Instead of shooting out lava, it spews ice crystals.

Freezing Your Butt Off

Most people would easily guess that the coldest place on Earth would be in Antarctica – and those people would be right! The exact coldest place is a ridge where the temperature can fall below -135.8°F (-93.2°C).