Antarctica

Where is Antarctica?
Antarctica is a continent that surrounds the Geographic South Pole. The continent is also the coldest, and with the highest mean altitude above sea level.

Where does the name Antarctica come from?
The name Antarctica derives from the ancient Greek word Ant Arktos, or “opposite Arktos,” a constellation in the northern sky. The early Greeks arrived at the idea of a southern continent not by observation of any phenomena, but by virtue of their ideals of symmetry: land to the north must be balanced by land to the south, otherwise the Earth would lose its equilibrium.

Is Antarctica a Country?
Antarctica is not a country. It is an international conservation and research area, managed by a group of countries. Hence no single person, organization or country owns Antarctica.

Who runs Antarctica?
Antarctica is run by a group of 40 countries all of whom are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty.

How big is Antarctica?
The area of Antarctica is 13,661,000 km2, which is large when compared to the USA (9,363,132 km2) or Malaysia (329,961.22 km2).

How high is Antarctica?
Antarctica is the highest continent with a mean height above sea level of 2500m2. The highest peak is Vinson Massif at 4897m.

How many stations are there in Antarctica?
There are 34 stations or bases in Antarctica that operate in the winter. During the summer there are many more bases, some only lasting for a season.

How cold is Antarctica?
Antarctica is the coldest of the 7 continents. The coldest temperature was measured at the Russian Vostok Station on 21 July 1983, measuring -89.2ºC.

How many people live in Antarctica?
During the summer several thousand people live and work in Antarctica. Work includes research as well as support and logistic tasks that need doing to keep the base functioning through out the winter. During the winter there are only a few hundred people on the entire continent.

Does Malaysia have a station in Antarctica?
No, not at the moment. But there are proposals to build a Malaysian station in Antarctica in the future.

How many Malaysian have conducted research in Antarctica under the Malaysian Antarctica Research Programme (MARP)?
During the Eight Malaysian Plan, 36 Malaysian scientists were sent for 18 scientific expeditions to the Antarctica.

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