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Antarctica
Vinson Massif
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  • How cold does it get in Antarctica?
    A domestic deep freeze runs at about -20°C. The mean summer temperature on the great East Antarctica icecap is -30°C and mean winter temperature around -60°C. The lowest ever temperature recorded was at the Russian Vostok station, - 89.6°C

  • What kinds of plants and animals are there in Antarctica?
    There are no trees or bushes at all. There are about 350 species of mostly lichens, mosses, and algae. There are no land based vertbrate animals in Antarctica. All the vertebrates there are dependent on the sea for feeding or are migratory and leave the continent when the winter arrives. The largest truly Antarctic land animals therefore are invertebrates only a few millimeters in size. These animals, mites, ticks, and nematode worms tolerate the low temperatures in the winter by becoming frozen in ice under rocks and stones.

  • What is the climate like?
    Winds flow downwards from the interior towards the coast, driven largely by gravity as air cools and becomes denser over the pole. Blizzards are common, as are whiteouts.

  • What is the landscape like?
    More than 99% of Antarctica is covered with ice. This thick cover of ice makes it the highest of all continents, with an average elevation of about 2300m (7500ft). The highest point on the continent is Vinson Massif at 4897m (16,076ft). The lowest point yet found is the Bentley Subglacial Trench at 2499m (8200ft) below sea level. The ice sheet is very dangerous in places as it is broken up by great crevasse fields with some cracks hundreds of feet deep.

  • Who lives there?
    No one permanently. Some scientists stay for parts of the year or the whole year.

  • At what temperature does Jack Daniels freeze?
    The freezing point of ethyl alcohol is -117.3°C.


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