- Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, and windiest continent. It's actually an ice desert.
- No country owns Antarctica. It's the only place on earth that nobody owns. The Antarctic Treaty was originally signed by 12 countries in 1959. There are now 54 countries that have signed the agreement.
- The Ross Ice Shelf is larger than the country of France.
- Antarctica is split into two zones geologically. Greater (or East) Antarctica is (as far as we know) on one tectonic plate. Lesser (or West) Antarctica is on lots of smaller plates, which is why it has volcanoes. (Who knew there were volcanoes in Antarctica??)
- Antarctica is one and a half times the size of the United States.
- Antarctica has 90% of the world's ice.
- Vostok is the Russian base. The coldest temperature in the world was recorded there - negative 129.3 degrees Fahrenheit or negative 89.2 Celsius.
- The Channichthyidae ice fish have white blood because there's no hemoglobin in it.
- The altitude at the South Pole is 2,850 feet. That's about one third the height of Mount Everest. That's really thick ice.
Premise of the book: Sara Wheeler has always been fascinated by Antarctica. She applied for the American National Science Foundation's Antarctic Artists' and Writers' Program, which allowed her to visit Antarctica for several months. She traveled to many of the different scientific bases, as well as some of the historical sites of the exploration of Antarctica.
Random Facts Learned By Reading This Book:
General thoughts on the book: If you are looking for a book on Antarctica, this should be the one you read. It has everything you could want - the history of Antarctic exploration, an overview of some of the scientific projects going on today, and a glimpse of what life is like for those who live there for months or years. And it was all told in Wheeler's extremely engaging voice. I've enjoyed (just about) all of the books so far for my Circumreading the World project, but this is the first one I think I would like to reread someday. It's the perfect mix of education and entertainment.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
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