The official date of the discovery of the ice continent is considered January 28, 1820. On this day, the Russian expedition under the command of Bellingshausen and Lazarev approached the shores of Antarctica.
But the first landing of people on the coldest continent took place only on January 24, 1895. The Norwegian ship Antarctic has approached Cape Adair. Four people went ashore: the captain of the ship L. Christensen, the leader of the expedition H. Buhl, the polar explorer K. Borchgrevink and the sailor A. von Tunzelmann. They collected samples of lichens and rocks from the shore.
In 1909, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen prepares to conquer the South Pole. On January 14, 1911, the Norwegians landed on the coast and were the first to reach the South Pole on December 15, 1911, having covered 2800 km both ways after a 99-day ice trip. The English expedition of Robert Scott tried to conquer the Pole, but they came second, and on the way back they were frightened due to lack of food and equipment breakdown.
There is no permanent population in Antarctica. More than forty permanent polar stations operate here, seven of which belong to Russia - Bellingshausen, Mirny, Vostok, Novolazarevskaya, Progress, Leningradskaya and Russkaya.
By international agreement, Antarctica is the only region on the planet that is not governed by any country.
The Antarctic ice sheet contains approximately 90 percent of the world's ice. If all Antarctic ice is melted, the level of the World Ocean will rise by 61 meters. However, the average temperature here is minus 37 degrees, therefore, the threat of flooding does not threaten the world yet.
Antarctica is not only the coldest but also the windiest continent in the world. The most powerful winds often reach speeds of 300 kilometers per hour.
Argentinian Emilio Marcos Palma is the first person in the world to be born in Antarctica. This happened on January 7, 1978 at the Esperanza station. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Some historians dispute this fact, claiming that back in 1913, the Norwegian Solveig Gunbjerg Jacobsen was born in Antarctica, but this happened on the island of South Georgia, which cannot be fully called the territory of Antarctica.
On February 15, 2004, at Bellingshausen station, the consecration of the Church of the Holy Trinity, the first Orthodox church in Antarctica, took place.
In 1996, a group of Americans founded the Antarctic Overseas Bank, which issued Antarctic dollars in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. According to the organizers, the banknotes could be exchanged at face value for US dollars, and the money raised could be used to fund scientific research in Antarctica.
In the 80s of the 20th century, Antarctica was declared a nuclear-free zone, therefore, it is prohibited to use nuclear-powered ships off the coast of the continent, and nuclear power units on the territory.
Minerals have been found in Antarctica: copper, zinc, lead, graphite, coal, iron ore, mica. But their extraction is prohibited.
Penguins are undoubtedly the most famous representatives of the local fauna. The emperor penguin reaches a height of 122 cm and weighs about 40 kg.