Click to see country in continent: Antarctica
Population: Researchers, no indigenous inhabitants Surface: 10,000,000 sq km
Did you know?
Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. The lowest natural temperature ever recorded on Earth was -89.2 °C recorded in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Station in Antarctica
The Antarctic ice cap has 29 million cubic kilometres of ice. This is 90% of all the ice on the planet and between 60 and 70 % of all of the world's fresh water.
Only about 0.4 percent of Antarctica is not covered by ice
Exact population: No indigenous inhabitants, but there are both permanent and summer-only staffed research stations note: 26 nations, all signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, operate through their National Antarctic Program a number of seasonal-only (summer) and year-round research stations on the continent and its nearby islands south of 60 degrees south latitude (the region covered by the Antarctic Treaty); these stations' population of persons doing and supporting science or engaged in the management and protection of the Antarctic region varies from approximately 4,000 in summer to 1,000 in winter; in addition, approximately 1,000 personnel, including ship's crew and scientists doing onboard research, are present in the waters of the treaty region; peak summer (December-February) population - 3,822 total; Argentina 417, Australia 213, Brazil 40, Bulgaria 15, Chile 224, China 70, Ecuador 22, Finland 20, France 123, Germany 78, India 65, Italy 112, Japan 150, South Korea 60, NZ 85, Norway 44, Peru 28, Poland 40, Russia 429, South Africa 80, Spain 28, Sweden 20, Ukraine 24, UK 205, US 1,170, Uruguay 60 (2005-2006); winter (June-August) station population - 1,028 total; Argentina 176, Australia 62, Brazil 12, Chile 88, China 29, France 37, Germany 9, India 25, Italy 2, Japan 40, South Korea 15, NZ 10, Norway 7, Poland 12, Russia 148, South Africa 10, Ukraine 12, UK 37, US 288, Uruguay 9 (2005); research stations operated within the Antarctic Treaty area (south of 60 degrees south latitude) by members of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP): year-round stations - 37 total; Argentina 6, Australia 3, Brazil 1, Chile 3, China 2, France 1, Germany 1, India 1, Japan 1, South Korea 1, NZ 1, Norway 1, Poland 1, Russia 5, South Africa 1, Ukraine 1, UK 2, US 3, Uruguay 1, Italy and France jointly 1 (2005); seasonal-only (summer) stations - 15 total; Australia 1, Bulgaria 1, Chile 1, Ecuador 1, Finland 1, Germany 1, Italy 1, Japan 1, Norway 1, Peru 1, Russia 1, Spain 2, Sweden 1, UK 1 (2005-2006); in addition, during the austral summer some nations have numerous occupied locations such as tent camps, summer-long temporary facilities, and mobile traverses in support of research Land boundaries: 0 km note: see entry on Disputes - international Terrain: about 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock, with average elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 meters; mountain ranges up to nearly 5,000 meters; ice-free coastal areas include parts of southern Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, the Antarctic Peninsula area, and parts of Ross Island on McMurdo Sound; glaciers form ice shelves along about half of the coastline, and floating ice shelves constitute 11% of the area of the continent Extremes: Lowest point: Bentley Subglacial Trench -2,555 m highest point: Vinson Massif 4,897 m; note: the lowest known land point in Antarctica is hidden in the Bentley Subglacial Trench; at its surface is the deepest ice yet discovered and the world's lowest elevation not under seawater