Photo: Antarctica:Tales of Ice by Kadavre Exquis
Antarctica is the world’s fifth-largest continent. It’s also almost entirely covered by ice, which makes it a difficult place to visit.Fortunately we came across some an amazing footage by a French graphic designer living in the Netherlands, Kadavre Exquis, that provides an intimate look at the frozen land mass.
Although British, American and Russian explorers began investigating the Antarctic Peninsula in the 1820s, not until 1840 was it established as a continent.
Antarctica is 14 million square kilometers, or about twice the size of Australia and nearly 1.5 times the size of the US.
Six species of penguins live in the Antarctic Circle. Two species—the Adélie and Emperor—spend their entire lifetime here.
The Adélie penguin, known for the characteristic white ring around its eyes, is common along the entire Antarctic coast.
Gentoo penguins are known for their distinctive orange beaks and white stripe that extends from their eyes across the top of their head. Gentoos mainly breed on sub-Antarctic islands, such as the Falklands.
Among the variety of seabirds in Antarctica, there are five species of albatrosses and 18 species of petrels.
While a number of minerals have been found in small quantities in Antarctica, including coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, chromium, nickel and gold, The Antarctic Treaty prohibits mineral mining.
Unfortunately, rising ocean temperatures and the loss of winter sea ice continues to threaten penguin and fish populations. A 2009 study found that temperatures across Antarctica rose an average of 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade from 1957 to 2006.
Officially Antarctica has no human population, but is frequently home to scientists who continue to unearth new facts about the continent and its nearby islands.
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