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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Antarctica:
  • Stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. [1] [2]
  • Clean up subarticles (Ecology of Antarctica, Geography of Antarctica, etc)
  • Add information on the fungi of Antarctica, and separate it from the flora
  • Add a human impact on Antarctica section
  • Add a map showing major geographic features and a number-marked longitude/latitude grid
  • Correct caption for image of ship Endurance. The image is a negative not a 'night shot'.
Priority 1 (top)

Species of Lichen[edit]

According to the article, "There are more than 200 species of lichens" in Antarctica. But lichens are composed of two species, on plant and one fungus. SO I'm not sure what is meant here. Please advise. (talk) 05:16, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a fungus and often a plant such as green algae. There are over 200 of these types of composite organisms living in Antarctica. AerobicFox (talk) 06:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Antarctic Micronational Union edit request[edit]

According to this article there is a micronational union of an Antarctic nations. I think it could be worth putting a note about them in the politics section or under claims

their microwikipedia page is Vitcash (talk) 19:42, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Micronations are not relevant or important enough to include in this article, even in the politics or territorial claims article. They hold absolutely no relevance in the real world running of most areas, an issue that is probably particularly appropriate to antarctica. Perhaps on the List of micronations page (which currently only has one) a mention could be made. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:21, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Surely it is the user community that decides what is relevant and what is not, how can you say that this is an unimportant viewpoint of a minority? there are literally thousands of these people around the globe involved in this, and you choose to write large articles about small groups with only dozens of members? Respectfully, what you define as 'important enough' is clearly a biased viewpoint, this is a large society of people creating certain wonders, to deny them even a paragraph is denying their right to be regarded as good people. It's not like they asked you to write a whole article on the topic, which has been done several times on this site on similar micronational substances. Dont tell me that this is not important, because if i chose to reject everything that i found 'unimportant', wikipedia would be a very small site. Reconsider your viewpoint, because people will be interested in this subject and visit your site to learn about them. --BritannianVanguard (talk) 18:26, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

None of this makes micronations relevant here as per Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. See WP:UNDUE. If people want to know about micronations, they are perfectly welcome to go to the articles micronation or List of micronations. Pfainuk talk 20:17, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe if you didn't delete the pages that micronations create then we would create pages as you suggest we do. But until that happens it is pretty pointless for us to do work only to have it deleted. (talk) 21:34, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
If you wish to see coverage in a Wiki format of subjects that do not meet Wikipedia's standards of notability, neutrality or verifiability, I suggest you try Wikia. Indeed, I notice that such a Wiki already exists there. Pfainuk talk 22:22, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

shoudent the microwiki be on here. its useful to learn more stuff and it would help alot with more learning about it. i agree with adding the micro wiki. from plahunter101 3:17 PM

Terrestrial vertebrates[edit]

The "Fauna" section says "Few terrestrial vertebrates live in Antarctica", implying that some do, but these are never identified. In fact, it's unclear exactly what "terrestrial" and "purely terrestrial" (a term used later apparently in contrast) are supposed to mean, especially as regards birds. The website to which the opening statement is sourced says:

"Few terrestrial vertebrates are resident in Antarctica and those which do occur are limited to sub-Antarctic islands. These include a single endemic insectivorous passerine (the South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus)) and freshwater ducks on South Georgia and/or Kerguelen."

This seems to be extending the scope of "Antarctica" to include places like South Georgia, whereas one gets the distinct impression that this article is describing the fauna of continental Antarctica.

So, in summary, several things need doing here:

  • Define "terrestrial" and "purely terrestrial"
  • Define "Antarctica"
  • Enumerate the terrestrial vertebrates, if any. (talk) 03:05, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 3 April 2011[edit]

1. CURRENT text version:

Mesozoic era (250–65 Ma) [...] In Eastern Antarctica, the seed fern became established, and large amounts of sandstone and shale were laid down at this time. [...]

2. NEW text version:

Mesozoic era (250–65 Ma) [...] In Eastern Antarctica, the seed ferns of the Glossopteris flora became established, and large amounts of sandstone and shale were laid down at this time. [...]

SOURCE: See e.g. the Wikipedia lemma on Glossopteris.

Regards (talk) 14:57, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. (Please see WP:RS; Wikipedia articles cannot be used as sources.) If you do so, please re-open this request. — UncleBubba T @ C ) 22:57, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Neogene forests[edit]

Hi. The paragraph on forests occurring within a short distance of the South Pole roughly 3 million years ago is backed up by three citations. However, there are a few problems in citing this claim:

  • The first reference is from 1986, and highlights some uncertainty in the radiometric dating of the fossil forest, saying that it could be older than a few million years. It also mentions another process, that open water could have carried other fossil traces to mountains that are now buried under ice. The significance was not known, so it needs to be backed up by later sources that either directly mention this initial study or directly refer to the Neogene period.
  • The second citation from Discovery News discusses the Permian period. I could not find any reference to the Neogene or the Webb discovery, and one major fossil location is on the coastline of the Ross Sea.
  • The third one shows information on a wide selection of fossils, but the only mention of plant fossils refers to either the Antarctic Peninsula or fossils laid down during the Mesozoic on West Antarctica. There is still no mention of more recent forests near the South Pole.

I'm not suggesting this information be removed, just so that it is corrected and placed into other time periods listed in the article on the geologic history if needed. It would help to cite more scientific journals or science news websites following up on the Neogene forest discoveries. I also suggest clarifying what the fossils actually are. Thanks. ~AH1 (discuss!) 02:02, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Not coldest place on Earth[edit]

That title belongs to the mesopause. Antarctica is the coldest place on the surface of the earth. Robopologist (talk) 21:12, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

A technically correct but unhelpful statement. In common usage by most people "coldest place" means on the surface. If we applied your kind of definition, we could say that the hottest place in my country is 3,000km below the surface. I don't think we need to move away from common usage on this one. HiLo48 (talk) 21:37, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Note on facts used and References not working[edit]

1. The average thickness of ice in Antarctica including ice shelves is 1958m. (Please Cut at least 1.6 km thick) Source:

2. The Exact Area is not 14 Million but 13,829,430km2 Danny shimel

For reference in size: Around 58 times the size of the UK, or 1.4 times the size of the USA, or area of India and China combined.(Source: as above)

3. The reference for the amount of precipitation (number 6) is not correct.

4. To date 48 countries have signed the treaty, this includes 28 countries which have set up their research stations in Antarctica and are members of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs(COMNAP) and 20 others. Source:

5. In two short words the main aim of the treaty is to promote Peace and Science without damaging the environment.

6. For number of scientists please mention “around 5000 during the summer and around 1000 during the winter"

7. In the " Geography" section it says " Antarctica occupies more than 14 Million...." False, as reported area is less than that. See point 2. Nathanian Palmer (talk) 14:53, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Date Amundsen and Scott reached the South Pole[edit]

I've seen both December 14 and 15, 1911 for Amundsen and January 17/18, 1912 for Scott.

Is the difference based on the time it would have been in their actual homelands of Norway and Great Britain, perhaps? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zz pot (talkcontribs) 01:11, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

The sign at the pole commemorating these events have Dec 14, and January 17. I'm not sure about the other dates. The south pole doesn't really have a time zone. The base now follows NZ time mostly because its convenient for logistics, but when you are standing at the south pole you are technically in all time zones, depending, I suppose where you put your feet. Warsky (talk) 04:04, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Antarctic Circumpolar Current[edit]

There's an interesting research on the impact of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) on Antarctic glaciation published in Science on May 27. Here's the abstract. Regards, Cinosaur (talk) 08:25, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

The first-human-born rubbish[edit]

This desinformational trivia is reoccurring in diverse articles:

first child born in the southern polar region [here and Antarctic there] was Norwegian girl Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen, born

She was born in Grytviken, South Georgia, part of South America. This factoid is just annoying trivia, presenting a record holder that is not a record holder. Not encyclopedic! Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:10, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

well then was, if its annoying trivia, then can you say who's the real first person? plahunter101 3:22 pm

Work needed[edit]

Hello everyone! This article currently appears near the top of the cleanup listing for featured articles, with several cleanup tags. Cleanup work needs to be completed on this article, or a featured article review may be in order. Please contact me on my talk page if you have any questions. Thank you! Dana boomer (talk) 19:34, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I see that some work has been done in cleaning up the article since my post above. However, there are still several tags and other issues that need attention - is anyone willing to work on these outside the remit of FAR? Besides the citation needed and dubious/discuss tags, as well as three dead link tags, I see several areas where statistics (populations, snowfall, etc.) are given without references, plus references missing information (correct titles, publishers, etc), and an extensive see also section that should probably be trimmed and have as many links as possible incorporated into the article text. Thanks, Dana boomer (talk) 19:53, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Eastern/Western Antartica[edit]

In the Climate section, the text refers to Eastern and Western Antarctica. Referring to the East and the West of Antarctica should be used to clarify location, but what Eastern and Western Antarctica are is unclear. Could someone who knows what this means clarify. Thanks, pluma Ø 02:36, 9 October 2011 (UTC).

The best place to find that sort of thing out is by looking at the Geography section. Do you find anything unclear about the 2nd paragraph there? Franamax (talk) 05:00, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Photo of south pole not actual south pole[edit]

The photo presented under the "Population" section claiming to be the South Pole, is actually only the ceremonial South Pole, used largely for photo-ops. The actual south pole is a several hundred feet away and moves about 30' per year (well, the pole doesn't move, the ice sheet does). There is a separate marker, set out each year (and different each year), with the current position of the South Pole. I would be glad to provide photos from early 2000's of these markers, however, as a new user I cannot modify this semi-protected article.

Warsky (talk) 03:27, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, South Pole describes it better than this article. I amended the caption. Feel free to suggest further improvement. You'll need 4 days and 10 edits after registration to edit semiprotected articles. Materialscientist (talk) 03:39, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 4 November 2011[edit]

In the first sentence of the history section, the article describes the "northern lands of Europe, Asia and North Africa." "North Africa" should instead be "North America". (talk) 02:38, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, no time to think, and just a quick comment - was America known at the time relevant to that sentence? Materialscientist (talk) 03:16, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Not done, per Materialscientist. Europe, Asia and North Africa were the entire "known" world at the time - though the sentence is a little Eurocentric. Franamax (talk) 04:52, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request: Antarctica in popular media[edit]

I hope there is a section or a page about Antarctica in popular media and summerize how fictions, adventure stories, science fictions, movies and documentary see Antarctica. (talk) 02:39, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Suggest adding text about National Research Council report[edit]

Hi, I'd like to add some text about a 2011 National Research Council report that identifies key research directions for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean over the next two decades.

A 2011 report from the United States National Research Council identifies key questions that will drive scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean over the next 10 to 20 years.[1] The report presents opportunities to be leveraged to sustain and improve the U.S. Antarctic Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which holds the primary responsibility for supporting U.S. research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The report's authoring committee identified key scientific questions that fall within two broad themes: those related to global change, and those related to fundamental discoveries.[2] In addition, the Committee identified several opportunities to broadly advance Antarctic and Southern Ocean research in the process of answering these questions. The development of a large-scale observing network and a new generation of models has the potential to expand scientific understanding and ensure the continuing success of research in the Antarctic region, the report found. [3]

Any feedback would be appreciated! Earlgrey101 (talk) 14:37, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Population numbers[edit]

There are a number of contradictory population claims made in various articles about Antarctica:

-- Beland (talk) 00:42, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Bringing this up again. The contractors and scientists in most of the research stations can be considered non-permanent residents, but the Argentine and Chilean civilian bases appear to have actual permanent populations. I will look into this further, but I believe that, at the very least, the civilian population of those bases should be considered as part of the permanent population of Antarctica.Astrofreak92 (talk) 04:24, 24 January 2015 (UTC) 21:30, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Only cold-adapted organisms survive there,[edit]

"Only cold-adapted organisms survive there..." why does't this include humans? Humans survive there too. (talk) 06:35, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Humans do not survive there without lots of specialized equipment and housing. I don't think that counts. Shoe (talk) 21:53, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Even more importantly, what's the point of that statement of the bleeding obvious at all? It's like saying that only organisms adapted to desert environments survive in the Sahara. We should be above than that sort of writing. HiLo48 (talk) 22:07, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

UK Antarctic survey vessel[edit]

I'm new to this, but I wish to point out that HMS Endurance (with pic and link from main article as of today, 1st Sep 2012), went out of service in 2008, following a flooding incident. Replacement is HMS Protector (source -

File:Antarctica Without Ice Sheet.png[edit]

should be added to Article, but the article on protection Strannik27 (talk) 15:48, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

It looks to me like the copyright you asserted when you uploaded the file to Commons is not compatible with the copyright on the original image. It's a tricky question, though -- that's a very unusual copyright. Looie496 (talk) 15:59, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
  • - "Academic and Non-commercial Use. This image may be used freely in any academic work where the author(s) do not receive a fee for their efforts and/or in any non-commercial work, provided that in either case these conditions are met: * You acknowledge the author of this image and Global Warming Art alongside the image. The recommended format is "Image created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art", but this may be varied to conform with a publication's style. * If and where practical, you also include a link and/or reference to this specific description page: Such references may appear either alongside the image, or in a separate section where other source material is acknowledged. Qualified academic and non-commercial projects may also be eligible to receive higher resolution and/or vector graphics forms of this image upon request.", "Free Content Use (GFDL / CC-BY-SA). This image (or modified versions of it) may be used in any work where the publication as a whole is released under one of the following free content, copyleft licenses: * The GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2 or Later.* The Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Version 2.5 or Later.Where applicable, these rights include some forms of commercial use; however, the provisions on redistribution are such that these licenses not intended for most commercial projects." Strannik27 (talk) 04:12, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
If a person wants to make their own map of an ice free Antarctica, the instructions and a link to the data for doing it with ArcGIS can be found in Spatial Analysis -An Antarctic Example (for ArcGIS 9.x) by Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.Paul H. (talk) 19:34, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 26 January 2013[edit]

Under the heading "Research", please make a minor grammatical adjustment to the following sentence:

In September 2006, NASA satellite data showed that the Antarctic ozone hole was the largest on record, covering 27.5 million km2 (10.6 million sq mi).[88]

Please change to:

In September 2006, NASA satellite data revealed that the Antarctic ozone hole was larger than at any other time on record, covering 27.5 million km2 (10.6 million sq mi).[88]

The first sentence is confusing as it gives the impression that the data is measuring more than one ozone hole, rather than subsequent measurements of the same hole.

The suggested word change earlier in the main clause - changing "showed" to "revealed" - is simply stylistic.

Pgo12 (talk) 20:22, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Done. Apcbg (talk) 20:34, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 3 February 2013[edit]

Under the heading of History of Exploration is the statement "The first documented landing on mainland Antarctica was by the American sealer John Davis in West Antarctica on 7 February 1821, although some historians dispute this claim[citation needed].". This statement has stood 'citation needed' for quite a long time, and personally, I think without some sort of citation or at least elaboration on "some historians dispute this claim", the phrase has no merit and should be taken out, rendering the sentence "The first documented landing on mainland Antarctica was by the American sealer John Davis in West Antarctica on 7 February 1821."

I have a problem with "Some X think Y" sentences in general, as I feel they're generally (though I'm not saying this is true in this case) added by fringe wikipedians as a way to give merit to their personal beliefs. I also think, due to the fact that there are billions of people on this earth, the very form of "some X think Y" is a statement that provides no actual information because it is likely to always be true.

To explain, "some historians think the world is flat" is technically a correct statement, in that some people who consider themselves historians stick to this demonstrably false theory (and has its own article, to boot!) but it is hardly relevant to any article that isn't expressly about flat earth theorists, and possibly one about the shape of the earth.

Anyway, yeah, unless someone can find some sort of citation for that phrase I'd like it to be taken out to preserve the factual accuracy and more importantly relevancy of the article. Insidious611 (talk) 04:07, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Not done: Your reasoning sounds compelling, yet it appears there is genuine dispute about this outside Wikipedia. See, for example, this Google Books shot from a book published in 1992. The current wording is poor, however, and could use amendment and a reference. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
The phrase in question is less than justified in my opinion, too. The quoted source does not question the landing event but rather argues that Davis might have been unaware of the actual significance of that event. But then neither Columbus nor Bellingshausen realized what exactly they had encountered. Apcbg (talk)

Article edit lock?[edit]

This article is locked, but there is no explanation on the talk page. Is this just an artifact that should be removed or has there been some vandalism that warrents this edit lock? — SkyLined — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Nm. It's semi-protected, so I was able to log in and edit it and when I did I got to see the reason why it is. I thought we used to have templates on the talk page explaining why the page was locked, but I can't seem to find any of them anymore - maybe I am mistaken. SkyLined (talk) 14:28, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Found them - it seems I overlooked the little lock in the new layout - obviously I haven't edited Wikipedia for a whileSkyLined (talk) 14:37, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Map seems to be a photo[edit]

Hi the map of uk Antarctic territory seems to be a photo of a 60s building demolition site — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't see any images labelled as maps but showing anything else. Try clearing your cache, and if you still see it, explain more clearly which image has the problem. If you click on the image, which page does it take you to?-gadfium 20:02, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Change 'Antarctica territories' section[edit]

Change the 'unclaimed territory' section inn the Antarctica territory section.

Mercudo (talk) 23:29, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

What specifically do you want to be changed there? I don't see anything overtly wrong with it. --Avenue (talk) 00:09, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Not done: please make your request in a "change X to Y" format. --Stfg (talk) 10:28, 5 November 2013 (UTC)


Seriously? Is there a demonym for someone from Antarctica? A continent that has no permanent population, and those temporary living there are from different ethnic/national backgrounds and obviously don't constitute a single community or nation. Even the Vatican City - a sovereign country, appears to have no demonym. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm attempting to fix this. Gringo300 (talk) 09:47, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Edit request - Ma[edit]

This article uses the acronym "Ma." Although listed in an ISO standard, it is not: a) defined as a Wikipedia topic (although Mya and Myr are) b) used in other places in Wikipedia - for example, the article on the Cambrian period used Mya c) listed in either the OED or the Merriam-Webster dictionary d) in common use by the average college educated person who did not specialize in geology. e) in the first couple of pages of a Google search

I recommend both switching to Mya, and explaining the acronym at its first usage Aaatwood (talk) 03:39, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Polar explorers[edit]

  • "Shackleton himself and three other members of his expedition made several firsts in December 1908 – February 1909..."

Is there any reason not to name these "three other members" who accomplished as much as Shackleton did in reaching these destinations? It's not we are talking about dozens of people. It seems strange that only one person is noted in what is, by necessity, a group effort. Liz Read! Talk! 16:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Country Label Incorrect - Shows as Zambia, Should be deleted[edit]

The country label for this Antarctica page is Zambia which is incorrect. This label should be deleted. Please change from Zambia to nothing. (talk) 16:45, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Not done: there is no mention of Zambia in the text of this page. Where are you seeing it? --Stfg (talk) 18:19, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Etymonline as a source?[edit]

Note 1 is sourced to I don't think this counts as a verifiably reliable source—search Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard for etymonline, and you will find many editors who think so. Shouldn't this reference be removed?

הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 17:44, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

I think the etymology is pretty cut-and-dried here though. It honestly barely needs a citation. Red Slash 02:31, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
The way I read it, Note 1 is simply a note, as in footnote, not a reference. Summerdrought (talk) 04:38, 4 December 2013 (UTC)


Please, make a reference about the Heavy Metal band Metallica playing a live show at Carlini Station on December 8, 2013. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

No, seems rather irrelevant here. Perhaps you should add to the band page. Vsmith (talk) 17:20, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

New World Record for Coldest Surface Temperature[edit]

A satellite measured a surface temperature of -135.8°F (-93.2°C) in Antarctica at 81.8° S, 59.3° E on 2010-08-10. However, this can not be compared with the world's coldest air temperature of -89.2°C (-128.6°F) at Stántsiya Vostók, Antarctica on 1983-07-21 01:45 UTC. Air temperature is normally measured several feet off the ground, which makes the satellite measurement a luminance temperature rather than an air temperature.

The -135.8°F (-93.2°C) temperature measured by satellite should be added to this article as the world's coldest luminance temperature. It should also be stated that this is a preliminary figure. This figure should be updated if it gets changed.

Here's a BBC article about the event:

Here's a Wunderground article about the event:

Large canyon recently discovered in Antarctica[edit]

A new valley was recently discovered in Antarctica, along with many other valleys:

Link to the peer-reviewed literature where it was first reported: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Casforty (talkcontribs) 04:04, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Gabriel de castilla[edit]

This articles does not name Gabriel de Castillo, known as the first man to see the continent in 1603 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The article on Gabriel de Castilla could use some improvement. See also List_of_Antarctic_expeditions#Pre-19th_century, maybe he wasn't the first? The topic of discovery is more detailed here: History of Antarctica and further history here: Terra Australis Raquel Baranow (talk) 18:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 February 2015[edit]

Early explorers believed that there was an undiscovered continent in the south of the world
   In 1773, Captain James Cook was the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle
   A Russian man, Thaddeus von Bellingshausen, was the first explorer to sight land in Antarctica
   John Davis was the first person to set foot on Antarctic land
   The Ross Ice Shelf is named after the explorer James Ross
   Early travel to Antarctica was dangerous and only possible by ship
   Ships carry food and other essential supplies to Antarctica
   An icebreaker is sometimes used to cut a path through sea ice so other ships can pass
   The ship Aurora Australis is the main link between Australia and Antarctica
   Aeroplanes are sometimes used to transport people and light goods

Introduction There are many reasons why the early explorers were interested in conquering Antarctica. Most explorers believed that an undiscovered land existed in the southern part of the world. Many people from different countries tried to reach it.

In the early years, many countries sent explorers south hoping to discover more about Antarctica. In the 19th century they landed on the continent and began to draw maps and take other records of what Antarctica looked like (see image 1). Explorers reported seeing mountains covered in ice, freezing conditions, a dark winter and howling winds.

These explorers reported that the continent of Antarctica was not suitable to grow crops or support human life. The only people who might be able to prosper in the Antarctic region were whalers and sealers. Whalers and sealers came south to search for sea animals that would bring them wealth, as whale and seal blubber could be sold for a high price at the time. The first explorers

In 1519, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed down past South America and into the Pacific Ocean, in search of the great unknown land in the south.

In 1587, the English explorer Francis Drake also attempted to discover the land at the southern end of the world. His ship was blown off course and Antarctica still lay waiting to be discovered. Captain Cook

On 17 January 1773, Captain James Cook (see image 2) became the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle. He circumnavigated Antarctica, which means he sailed around the entire continent. He did not set eyes on land, but came within about 120 kilometres of the coast. His two ships could not sail any closer to Antarctica because of the thick pack ice that covered the ocean. Cook never saw land, but did see some rocks in icebergs that floated past, so he knew that there was land somewhere. Cook also reported sighting huge seal populations, which interested Britain and America, who wished to hunt those animals. See animation

Thaddeus von Bellingshausen

News from Captain Cook's voyage into the Antarctic Circle raised the interest of other explorers. However, it was not until almost 50 years later, that the continent was finally spotted.

In January 1820, the Russian explorer Thaddeus von Bellingshausen was the first person to sight land in Antarctica. He had a bigger, stronger ship than Captain Cook, so he could sail further south. He described the land he saw as a field of ice, covered with small hills. Like Cook, Bellingshausen could see no use for Antarctica, so returned to Russia. See image 3 John Davis

During the 1800s, seal hunters travelled the southern seas. As soon as one colony of seals was killed, the hunters looked for a new ground. The first person to land on Antarctica was an American sealer, looking for new seal colonies.

In January 1821, Captain John Davis of the Cecilia arrived at the South Shetland Islands, off the tip of South America, looking for seals. Davis decided that he needed to go further south to search for new seal territory. On 7 February 1821, Davis landed his boat in the area of Cape Charles and was the first person to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. James Weddell

At about the same time as Bellingshausen sighted Antarctic land, James Weddell, from Scotland, sailed to Antarctica. In 1823 he discovered a sea of ice, which he named after the English King, George IV. This sea was renamed and is now known as the Weddell Sea. The Weddell seals are also named after this explorer. See image 4 Sir James Clark Ross

James Ross made three trips to Antarctica between 1839 and 1843. He used two strengthened wooden ships, the Erebus and the Terror, to assist him in his journeys through the treacherous waters. See image 5

On his first voyage Ross discovered Cape Adare, continued south to McMurdo Bay and then found Ross Island. He also discovered an enormous wall of ice in the Ross Sea, which is now known as the Ross Ice Shelf.

On his second voyage, Ross tried to explore the ice shelf that he had found on his first expedition. He was stopped by terrible weather conditions that forced him to turn back to Tasmania. On his third journey, Ross took a different route, but was unable to go past latitude 71 degrees south.

In the early years, reaching Antarctica was a long and dangerous mission. Ross carried enough food to last for three years, including tinned meat, soups and pickled cabbage. On 7 January 1841 the Erebus and the Terror became trapped in ice. A strong storm cauased huge waves and blocks of ice to crash over the ships. Both ships somehow managed to survive the storm and Ross continued his exploration. Travelling to Antarctica today

Modern-day transport connects Antarctica to the rest of the world. Two hundred years ago, people could only travel to and from Antarctica by ship. The journeys were long, difficult and sometimes disastrous.

These days, specially-designed ships and aircraft are used to transport people and goods to and from Antarctica. Large ships carry essential food and medical supplies to the people who live in Antarctica, and these modern-day methods of transport allow scientists to travel to Antarctica and carry out their research. Sea transport

People and supplies are often carried to Antarctica by ship. Supplies can include anything from fuel, trucks and scientific equipment to toilet paper, medicine and chocolates. Many of the ships have scientific equipment and laboratories on board, which are used to check weather conditions during the journey.

Sometimes, a special ship called an icebreaker is used to cut a path through the thick pack ice which stretches from the ocean to the mainland of Antarctica. Even in the middle of summer, this pack ice can trap ships for weeks. The icebreaker is strong enough to cut a path through the thick pack ice, which allows other ships to pass through.

Since 1990, the Australian ship Aurora Australis has been the main transport link between Australia and Antarctica. The Aurora Australis is a cargo and passenger ship. The 'Aurora' makes about seven journeys to Antarctica each year, carries about 350 passengers per year, and supplies goods and fuel to Antarctica's research stations. When it leaves, the ship takes garbage and other waste away, because the extremely cold conditions make it very difficult for garbage to break down in Antarctica.

These days, Antarctica is a popular tourist destination. Many people want to visit one of the last wilderness areas in the world. Every summer, tourist ships cruise around the coast of Antarctica. Tourists visit Antarctic sites that include research bases, historical sites and penguin colonies. These trips must be carefully organised to make sure that tourists do not damage the fragile ecosystem. Air transport

Aeroplanes are a much faster way of transporting people to and from Antarctica. Aeroplanes can be used to take people to Antarctica and to research stations that have runways. There are 18 runways in Antarctica and some of these are made from hard snow or ice. Some runways are too soft for tyres, so the planes are fitted with skis.

Air transport to Antarctica is not just for scientists and research workers. Tourists can fly over Antarctica in the summer months and view the beautiful scenery below. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:11, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Antarctica on older maps[edit]

When was Antarctica discovered again? I can clearly see Antarctica on this 1562 map below: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

That shows a greatly expanded Tierra del Fuego (as you can see, it's to the south of the Straits of Magellan), not Antarctica Debbiesw (talk) 17:30, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Castilla sources (removed from article)[edit]

A recent edit claimed Spanish explorer Gabriel de Castilla as the discoverer of Antarctica in 1603 and gave four references: [3][4][5][6] They seem rather speculative and this has been discussed before, but I'm leaving this here nonetheless. —tktktk 03:57, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Need help with national varieties of English[edit]

I have a problem with the national variety of English on this page. It is written in American English ("color"), yet uses day-month-year dates. That seems fine in a scientific context, but what about distances? Sometimes the imperial units come first, other times metric units come first. Which style should be adopted for good? --Serpinium (talk) 11:18, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

It was predominantly in British English before you changed it and MOS suggests that you don't change one variety for another in the wholesale manner in which in you have done. There is reasonably detailed guidance in WP:MOSNUM for the use of unit order. If you have a problem with the variety of English make a cogent case for changing it, since as we've seen making the changes as you've done simply creates more work. WCMemail 13:03, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
The captions used AmEng ("color") and all the convert templates too (it just didn't show because the author used the wrong parameter "en" instead of "sp"). The order of imperial and metric units was inconsistent as well, so I really don't see how it was "predominantly" British. Really it could be interpreted either way.
Seems to me like per MOS, regardless of the national variety we adopt, we should use SI units as primaries and keep the British-style dates. Now we just have to decide whether to use American or British English. Which one do you pick? --Serpinium (talk) 16:49, 26 October 2015 (UTC) @Wee Curry Monster: --Serpinium (talk) 09:26, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
WP:MOSNUM suggests that most units have SI first, a limited number (eg distances) use imperial first. Looking at the article itself its predominantly written in British English so I suggest we retain that. WCMemail 12:28, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Done. --Serpinium (talk) 13:05, 28 October 2015 (UTC)


In 2011 the Australian classical harpist Alice Giles was the first professional musician ever to perform in Antarctica. She developed a multimedia performance "Alice in Antarctica", which was streamed from Mawson Station, and later performed around Australia and internationally.

I'd like to include this information here, but no obvious location suggests itself. Any ideas?

Also, we should make mention of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia antartica. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:02, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

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"No permanent residents"?[edit]

The lede and infobox of this article claim that Antarctica has no permanent residents; however, this is contradicted by the Villa Las Estrellas and Esperanza Base articles, according to which those two settlements have permanent civilian populations of 85 people and 50 people respectively. Therefore, it appears that the claim that Antarctica has no permanent inhabitants is incorrect. Should the article be changed to say that Antarctica has 135 permanent inhabitants (combined totals from the aforementioned villages)? Chessrat (talk,contributions) 09:53, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

  • Okay, I've had no replies to this in the last month, so will go ahead and change the infobox to show 135 permanent residents. Chessrat (talk, contributions) 20:28, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I wonder, though. Do any of those 135 people live there permanently? Does anyone ever live their whole life in Antarctica (apart from travel to other parts of the world for business, tourism etc)? There may be a stable number of 135 people there at any one time, but is even a single one them a permanent resident of the place? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:43, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
That's a good question; I'm not sure. The aforementioned articles (Villa Las Estrellas and Esperanza Base) state that the settlements house families, and have facilities such as a school, hospital, post office, scout camp, church, registry office, et cetera. The Spanish Wikipedia has more detail than the English one does on this topic; it says that Esperanza Base has a "Population [of] 66 (including 9 families with 16 children) (October 2010 census) in winter, 142 in summer"; it also says there are two teachers in the village school. I can't find any information on whether anyone has spent most of their life in Antarctica, but it certainly seems like there are some permanent residents there. Although it would be good to have more information on this topic. Chessrat (talk, contributions) 18:52, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 May 2016[edit]

In the first paragraph under the heading "Geography," In the sentence, "It covers more than 14,000,000 km2 (5,400,000 sq mi),[1] making it the fifth-largest continent, about 1.3 times as large as Europe." please change the first "It" to "Antarctica".

Because the preceding sentence discusses lake Vostok, "it" here is confusing, as it leads the reader to believe the lake is still being talked about. (talk) 15:28, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done , I changed it for now, but I am sure the paragraph could be reworded or sentences switched around. Sir Joseph (talk) 15:52, 25 May 2016 (UTC)