Antarctica continent, the fifth largest continent in the world, lies almost entirely south to the south of the Antarctic Circle.
It is lying around the south pole.
Antarctica is truly an iceland. 98% Of its 14.4 million square km land is covered with snow and ice. The ice cap has an average thickness of 1.6 kilometers.
The continent is divided into West Antarctica (including Antarctic penninsula) and East Antarctica by the Transantarctic mountains. The mountain range runs from Coats Land to Victoria islands. Antarctica has a highest average elevation of about 2440meters. The highest peak Vison Massif has an altitude o 5139 meters and lowest average temperature among all continents.
Due to the vast precipitations like snow, hail, there are no long-term human residents within this polar area and only cold-adapted organisms can survive. Some feature animals are seals, walruses, penguins which all possess heavy layers of fat as anti-cold mechanism.
Though extreme climate has deterred large-scale settlement of the continent, habitation is now limited to scientific bases.
Rich natural resources are available in Antarctica. Many ore minerals, like iron and glod can be found. There are also coal reserves in the Tranantarctic Mountains.
This triggers tense competition and conflicts over sovereignty and legal access to resources in early days. As a result, in 1959 the Atlantic Treaty was signed among over 50 countries, aiming to ban military activities in the area and promote research work and peaceful exploitation of resources.
By the passage of time, the environmental issues began to surface in Antarctica since the 1980s due to human activities. Till recently, ozone depletion and rising sea-level attributed to melting polar glaciers have been spotlighted. There is urgency for the world to cure this sick piece of land.
Family Reference Atlas of the world - National Geographic Society 2002
Concise Atlas of the worl - Dorling Kindersley
Merriam website's Geographical Dictionary
The World Book A.1 - World Book, Inc
Atlas of the Living world - Burke Publishing Company Ltd