There’s still one week left for volunteer citizen scientists from around the world (including South Africa) to put their name down for the Airbnb Antarctica Sabbatical. In case you missed last week’s announcement, you can find all the details about how to be part of this trip here: https://www.airbnb.com/d/sabbatical
Below, however, is a fun media story about some fun facts you may not know about Antarctica
- Antarctica – Native Population 1: Antarctica is the only place in the world that has no native human population – although one baby was born there. 41 years ago, Emilio Marcos Palma became the continent’s first and only citizen.
- BYOE – Bring Your Own Eye Mask: During the Antarctic summer – from November to January – there are 24 hours of daylight.
- Summer Hotspot: There are more people – primarily researchers – living on the continent in the summer than in Provincetown, Mass. year-round. 4,000+ occupy it in the prime summer research season and around 1,000 in the winter.
- “Ghost” Mountains: Antarctica has mountains that rise to 9,000 feat and are completely buried under three miles of ice. They’re called the Gamburtsev Mountains.
- Not One South Pole, But Two: Antarctica has the ceremonial South Pole and the Geographic South Pole. The Geographic South Pole marker is changed every January 1st by the US Geological Society.
- No Time Zones: Because of the South Pole, Antarctica sits on every line of longitude, theoretically, making it located in all time zones. So many stations use the time of the country they are owned by or the time zone of their supply base, resulting in nearby research stations having different time zones while other areas have no time zone.
- Coldest Place On Earth: Winter atop the East Antarctic Plateau is as cold as it gets on Earth – scientists have measured -133.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 44 degrees colder than the coldest day ever recorded in the northern hemisphere.
- But, It’s Technically a Desert: Antarctica sees very little snow or rain, but because it is so cold, the small amount of precipitation that does fall does not melt, making it the driest continent.
- More Penguins Than People: 12 million penguins call the continent home, one million more than the population of Paris.
- Mostly Ice, Mostly Water: Antarctica has about 90% of the world’s ice thereby about 70% of the world’s fresh water. If all of this ice melted, sea levels globally would rise about 200 feet, and places like Vancouver, Seattle and San Diego would almost be entirely underwater.
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