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14 Mind-Blowing Facts About Antarctica

And you thought your winters were cold.

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2. But petrels are the real king bird.

Brian Gratwicke / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: briangratwicke

The iconic emperor penguin most commonly comes to mind when people think about Antarctica. However, there are actually more petrels on the continent than penguins.

7. Nobody actually lives-lives on Antarctica.

Eli Duke / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Via Flickr: elisfanclub

The only people who live there are visiting scientists. During the summer, the number averages about 5,000. In the winter, it drops to 1,000.

11. Nobody actually owns Antarctica.

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The Antarctic Treaty was drafted in 1959, designating the land as “a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.” 48 nations have signed the treaty.

12. The ice on Antarctica is telling us a lot about our past.

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Scientists are currently studying Ice cores, long cylindrical samples of Antarctica’s ice. These cores have dust and air bubbles trapped inside them and can provide information about the earth’s climate over the past 10,000 years.

14. Robert Falcon Scott and his crew died on their way to the South Pole. Their route remains uncharted to this day.

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In 1910, Captain Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition set out to be the first group to ever reach the geographical South Pole. After reaching the pole and discovering they had arrived second, 33 days behind the Roald Amundsen expedition, the team retraced their steps back to sea. On their return, Scott’s entire party died from exhaustion and starvation.

Inspired by Intel and Ben Saunders’ upcoming journey to the South Pole.

View this video on YouTube

Polar explorer Ben Saunders and his partner Tarka L’Herpiniere will attempt to be the first people to complete the Captain Scott’s 1,800-mile return journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole.