Interesting Facts about Antartica

Antarctica is the driest continent. With all that snow and ice, you would not think so, but it actually gets less precipitation than many deserts. It seems that there is more snow there because most of it does not melt. It will blow around and develop the consistency of talcum powder that gets into everything. Eventually most snow there turns into ice.

The first person to discover Antarctica was a Russian, Thaddeus von Bellingshausen, on January 1, 1820, but he wasn’t given official credit for his discovery until late in the twentieth century. Apparently Russia was not particularly impressed by his discovery nor did they tell the rest of the world. Bellingshausen’s logbooks were destroyed in the Russian Revolution. It wasn’t until 1982, when Polar Historian, A.G.E Jones, reviewed Bellingshausen’s diary, a report to the Russian Naval Ministry, dated July 21, 1821, and other documents in a Russian museum that he determined that Bellingshausen had discovered Antarctica a mere two days before a British Royal Navy officer, Edward Bransfield.

The largest iceberg ever recorded was Iceberg B-15. It measured 4,200 square miles, which is about the size of Connecticut or the island of Jamaica. An iceberg that large could supply the world’s need for drinking water for a year.