Mainland Antarctica. Paintings, Interesting Facts, Photos, Attractions, Geography

Antarctician discovers are Russian navigators Bellingsgause and Lazarev. Making a world journey, they saw the shores of the new part of the world. Despite the fact that the landing did not succeed, it is them that they are attributed to the opening of the ice-covered continent.

Where Antarctica is located

by location, the coldest mainland covers the southern part of the globe. Its center is only a little from the southern pole.

From all sides of Antarctica is washed with 3 oceans:

  1. quiet.
  2. Atlantic.
  3. Indian.

Sometimes it all together give the common name of the Southern Ocean. Under the name Antarctica is meant the area covering the mainland and all the island adjacent to it. The feature of the location is characterized by the fact that the surface is completely inside the southern polar circle. For this reason, there is no concept of southern Western or Eastern dots.

All directions indicate only north. Therefore, in Antarctica there is no such representation as a length from the West to the East or from the north to south. But the extreme northern point is to allocate the opportunity - this is a caphine caffery.

Its geographical position 63 ° of southern latitude. I take into account the extremely unfavorable climatic conditions, there are no states here, but there are only research stations.

Tourists who want to visit the cold mainland can use 2 ways:

  1. by sea. First you need to arrive in the Argentine city of Ushuhai. Further, using the services of tourist operators to purchase a maritime tour to Antarctica. Despite the fact that this is the cheapest view of the movement, the cost of a ticket will be released over 10,000 euros.
  2. Airline. In the absence of regular aircraft, you need to arrive in Cape Town located in South Africa. Here through the International Antarctic Logistics Center, a flight to the Russian base Novolazarevskaya is committed. You can make a flight from the city of Punta Arenas Chile to the Antarctic Base Union Challenge. Here is a tourist center, from where excursions are being conducted. The cost of the flight leaves from 20,000 dollars.

Antarctica geographical features

Antarctic Square is 14.4 million km2. A characteristic feature of the mainland is ice cover under which the surface relief is hidden. The average height of the area, taking into account ice, is 2000 m, but it reaches over 4000. Only 0.3% of the sushi is free from ice.


The transatlantic mountains extended through the entire continent, which are separated by Antarctica by 2 zones:

  1. Eastern. Here, the ice plateau reaches its maximum thickness. Places of 4100 m high are fixed. In this area, the lowest temperatures are observed.
  2. Western. These are mainly the mountainous islands, interconnected by the ice surface. Here is the Range of the Arctic Andes with the highest point of 4892 m relative to the sea level. In the same zone there is a lowest place that received Bentley. Its depth is 2555 m.

The Ice Packs of Antarctica exceeds Greenland 10 times. 90% of all ice ice is concentrated here. Their volume is 30 million km³. Its average thickness ranges in the range of 2500 - 2800 m. In the area of ​​the coast, cracks are often formed. After their formation, a huge block of ice is happening, which slides into the ocean. Such floating islands are called Iceberg.

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Historical facts

Antarctician discovery, which were the first to find the mainland - these are Russian navigators Bellingshausen and Lazarev. For a long time on the part of scientists, disputes walked exactly what was openly. The territory was hiding under the ice hat. Bellinshausen himself did not approve the opening results. The evidence came only in the 20th century, when complex technical means began to be applied.

Antarctician discoverers are Russian navigators Bellingsgause and Lazarev.

The name of the new continent of the discovers was given "Ice Mainland". Only much later the name of Antarctica appeared. It originated as a derivative from the word Antarctica. Such a term was called the South Polar Area opposite to the Arctic.

If you disassemble the word Arctic, it means "Northern Bear". So called the northern polar region of the globe. It happened because the ancient navigators always kept the course to the north and for finding the polar star were looking for the constellation of a big bear.

The discoverers of Antarctica were brave people. The fact that somewhere in the south there is a large land, there have been suggestions for a long time. Expeditions were organized in this direction, which from afar observed a large accumulation of snow-covered islands.

Year Characteristic
1739The expedition was organized by the Frenchman Bouvet de Lozier. The journey was made on 2 ships "Aigle" and "Marie". A snow-covered ledge opened up in front of Bouvet. All attempts to approach it ended in failure due to the blocking of the path by pack ice. The outbreak of scurvy forced the expedition to leave this place and return home
1772Expedition led by Kerguelen. The French discovered a group of islands in the amount of 300 pieces located in the south of the Indian Ocean. After that, he returned back
1768 - 1771; 1772 - 1774; 1775.In search of an unknown continent, James Cook made 3 expeditions. He first landed in the eastern part of Australia, which he called New South Wales. Returning, Cook organized a second expedition. This time he took 192 people with him, who were located on 2 ships. The Antarctic Circle was crossed for the first time. However, the further movement of ships was fraught with great risk. Swimming took place surrounded by huge ice blocks. Some of them reached a length of 100-300 km. According to the coordinates he noted, the expedition came close to the mainland. The distance to it was no more than 200 km. Cook did not know this. He decided not to pull the ships of danger and returned back.

However, a year later he again decided to make another 1 attack on the icy continent. This time he penetrated to a number of islands in Antarctica. They made a terrible impression on him. An inanimate world dominated by cold, ice and snowstorms. According to Cook, a journey was made at the limit of human strength. In his opinion, it was impossible to achieve more, and it is not expedient. This place was not made for life.

1819 - 1821Cook's report on his voyages cooled his ardor for a long time to organize new expeditions to the southern mainland. Only in 1819, during the reign of Alexander I, an expedition was organized to this continent on the ships Vostok and Mirny. The command was carried out by Bellingshausen and Lazarev. The expedition reached the places passed by Cook and began to move on. Finally, on January 28, 1821, land opened up before the sailors. It was named "Alexander I Coast". Landing attempts were unsuccessful due to the presence of solid ice. Subsequently, it became clear that the place he saw turned out to be an island. It is separated from the main mainland by a strait of 500 m. A flotilla of 2 ships circled the mainland and set off on the return journey. The merit of the expedition lies in the fact that it was able to refute Cook's opinion about the impossibility of conquering the icy continent
1831-1833The Englishman J. Biscoe sailed around the mainland on 2 ships: “ Thule" and "Lively"
1837 - 1840Frenchman Dumont-Durville, who was an oceanographer by profession. He discovered a number of islands of Antarctica
1838 - 1842An expedition led by Wilkes explored part of the territory of East Antarctica and discovered Wilkes Land
1839 - 1843Expedition of Ross on the ships "Erebus" and "Terror". Crozier commanded the second ship. In the process of swimming, an ice barrier was opened, which went into the sea. Its height was 50 m, and its length was 600 km. Subsequently, it was called the "Ross Barrier", and the sea the "Ross Sea".
1898 - 1899The expedition led by Borchgrevink spent the first winter on the mainland. First, she settled down at Cape Adler. Then a survey of the "Ross Sea" and the ice barrier was carried out.
1901 - 1904This was the first expedition of the 20th century. It was organized by R. Scott. The ship on which he sailed was called the Discovery. During the voyage, the Edward VII Peninsula was discovered. Scott was engaged in the study of the area. As a result, extensive geological material was collected, a lot of information was obtained about the minerals of the mainland, its fauna and flora
1902Wilhelm II". In the process of studying the ice sheet, the theory of moving ice was developed
1902 - 1904)1903 - 1905The expedition of the Frenchman Charcot discovered the "Land of Loubet"
1907 - 1909The Englishman Shackleton decided to get to the South Pole on a sleigh. He did not achieve his goal, because food ran out on the way, and animals began to die. 178 km left to reach the Pole. However, on the way he discovered the Bidmore Glacier
1911The Norwegian expedition, led by Amundsen, made a trip on 4 sledges consisting of 5 people. They were harnessed to 52 dogs. Over time, the food ran out, and the expedition members began to kill harnessed animals and eat their meat. So they overcame 1500 km and reached the South Pole. Here they planted the Norwegian flag at an altitude of 2700 m. Then the expedition moved back. On the way, they continued to eat dog meat, killing dogs
1912Now the expedition led by Scott has reached the South Pole. On the way back, a tragedy happened, and all the participants died, not reaching the base camp only 18 km. Their diaries were found only after 8 months
1911-1914 and 1929-1931These 2 expeditions were made by the Australian Mawson. During his research, more than 200 geographical objects were mapped

Climatic conditions, the best time to travel

Antarctica is the place where the lowest temperature is observed on globe. In addition, very cold weather persists for a long time. This is due to the large thickness of the ice shell, which is a source of cold. Since the mainland is located in the southern hemisphere, the calendar summer is considered the coldest period, and the calendar winter is considered relatively warm.

Climate conditions in Antarctica differ depending on location:

  1. Inland part. The coldest weather here is from May to September. The average temperature ranges from -60° to -70°. However, sometimes it reaches -89°. If we take the maximum fixed value, then it can reach -92 °. Such cold weather is associated with the presence of cyclones coming from the ocean. The truth is, it doesn't happen often. From December to February the temperature rises and is (-30°) - (-45°). Cold weather stands in March, April and October. The temperature fluctuates between (-55°) - (-65°). A noticeable warming is observed in November, the thermometer records indicators in the region of -40 °. There is little rainfall in this area. Their average value is from 40 to 100 mm per year.
  2. Coastal part. Due to the presence of the sea, the climate here is much milder. Even in the coldest periods from June to September, the temperature does not drop below -40°. As for the warmest month - December, the average temperature is observed here (-2 °) - (-4 °). There are periods when a real thaw begins, at which the temperature rises to + 18 °. But the precipitation here falls several times more. Their value is 500-600 mm per year.

For tourists who want to visit the continent, 3 seasons can be distinguished:

  1. From November to December. This is considered early summer. During this period, penguins show increased activity, which is curious to observe.
  2. January - February. refers to the warmer time. Nature begins to wake up. Melting melting occurs. There is an opportunity to examine the mainland from the sea.
  3. Mart. This month is still available for tourists. As a rule, the temperature is still holding a plus, although sometimes freezing occurs. Precipitation begins, but the snow cover still insufficient thickness and hiking are possible.

Antarctica's attractions

Antarctician discovers witnessed amazing edges, with attractions characteristic only for this mainland. There are many islands and straits, which can be reached from Argentina, Chile or New Zealand.

Depending on the duration of the cruise and comfortability of the vessel, the price of tickets varies in different limits:

  1. Silver Explorer vessel. Cruise for 16 days. Sending from the Argentine port of Ushuaia. Price 19,440 € per person.
  2. SILVER CLOUD Expedition ship. Sail from Buenos Aires. Cruise time is 17 days. The price of 1 person is 13,230 €.
  3. Sending from Ushuia by 11 days. The cost of a ticket per 1 person is 10,620 €.

The cruise program includes visiting interesting places of Argentina. If you want to examine the place of interest, you should explore the travel program.

Bloody Waterfall

is located in the McMarto Prioral. He first discovered Griffith Taylor. From under the glacial hat, a red waterfall flows. At first it was the assumption that the cause of such an unusual phenomenon is algae.

I solved the riddle of nature American geomikrobiologist Gil Mikutski. In his opinion, 1.5 million years ago the level of the world's ocean decreased. However, part of the water remained in the lowland. After evaporation of some of its quantity, the salt concentration increased in it. This explains the reason for no freezing of water.


Then an ice hat was formed on top, and the oxygen access to the lake ceased. However, there were a lot of dissolved iron in the water. Over time, the ice was formed in the ice, through which water began to pour out in the form of a waterfall. It is known that dissolved iron, connecting with oxygen, oxidizes and the resulting rust appears. For this reason, water and painted in red.

In the lake, microorganisms were discovered, which adapted to live in the absence of oxygen. It was an important discovery that made it possible to put forward the hypothesis about the possibility of the existence of microorganisms on other planets, where there is no oxygen.

South Sandwich Islands

The discoverers of Antarctica, Russian navigators, visited these islands after Cook's visit in 1775. Now you can get here by going on a sea vessel from Argentina. The cost of the trip varies depending on the duration of the trip. However, such cruises are made no more than 1-2 times a year. The reason is the incessant storms here.

A distinctive feature of the islands are active volcanoes. Their last serious eruption was observed in 1820. But since then, periodically, they throw up columns of ash, which lie evenly on the rocky surface. She is then washed away by a storm.

If the tourists coming here are lucky, then in a certain period of time you can observe the presence of a large number of penguins. Sometimes a rare bird called the Antarctic fulmar flies into these places.

Lemaire Strait

Huge liners constantly cruise here. Arriving tourists discover the most beautiful place in Antarctica. Here they are arranged for picnics. In the northern part of the strait, 2 peaks rise, resembling huge support towers. There are snow caps on their tops.

All nature is beautifully reflected in the water. Tourists have the opportunity to capture all the beauties they see on film. The opening of the strait, which has a width of 1.6 km and a length of 11 km, occurred in 1873 by the expedition of Adrien de Gerpache. However, he gave him the name not his own, but the Belgian Charles Lemaire.

Dry valleys

According to scientists, these are the driest places on the planet. They are located near McMurdo Sound. Formed over 8 million years. During this time there has never been rainfall. There is no snow and ice here. Great dry air. The territory covers a space of 3000 km2.

Dry valleys were first discovered in 1903 by Scott. The traveler did not find anything alive here and called this place "the territory of the dead."

However, he was wrong. Further research showed that organic life is present here and it is in the stones. Scientists have found algae and fungi here. Carbon dioxide and moisture penetrate through the surface of the stones. This is their source of nutrition.

If you look at the surface from the side, its landscape resembles the planet Mars. Such bizarre shapes were formed by the incessant winds.

Desepshi Island

Its uniqueness lies in the presence of a calm bay, where sightseeing sea liners constantly call. This was made possible by the presence of high snow-covered hills, which create a barrier to the winds and provide tranquility to the expanses of water.

An active volcano causes some difficulties. In 1920-1921, several research expeditions visited here. It was then that his next eruption took place.

As a result, damage to the coating of ships was caused, the paint was corroded from contact with hot water, which got into hot lava. The uniqueness of nature lies in the fact that the bay is a water area that flooded the crater of the volcano.

Currently, this place is called "Pendulum Bay". The reason is that earlier the British built a gravitational pendulum here to conduct research on the Earth's magnetism.

The flow of tourists here is attracted by thermal waters. The presence of hot springs is also provided by the presence of a volcano filled with water. However, swimming should be done with extreme caution. If the water is mixed to a meter depth, then there is a possibility of getting burns from hot jets hitting from below. On the other hand, there is a danger of hypothermia from the ice water coming in from the side.

Interesting facts about Antarctica

The discoverers who found Antarctica did not even suspect what a peculiar corner of nature they had found.

Interesting facts about the icy continent are as follows:

  1. Absence of polar bears. Despite the low temperature, such animals are not found here. Apparently it's too cold for them. They live in the northern cold part of the hemisphere: the Arctic, Greenland, Norway. But there are penguins that are not in the Arctic.
  2. Presence of rivers. One of them is Onyx. True, you can see it only during the Antarctic summer, and then only for 2 months. Its length is 40 km.
  3. No government. Antarctica is the only continent that does not belong to any state. This happens because the countries have reached an agreement on this issue.
  4. Presence of meteorites. This is where they are best preserved. This is due to the presence of ice cover.
  5. There are no time zones in Antarctica. The scientific expeditions present here live according to the time of their country.
  6. Danger of ice melting. It has been scientifically proven that if all the ice of Antarctica melts, then the level of world waters will rise by 61 m.

time accomplished a feat. However, for everyone who wants to visit the mainland, the journey will be quite difficult. This is due to the duration of the flight or the danger of ships passing near large icebergs.

At the same time, all these difficulties do not discourage travelers from experiencing the uniqueness of the Antarctic climate and seeing local attractions.

Article design: Lozinsky Oleg

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