Antarctica is a whole continent located in the very south of the Earth. Its center almost coincides with the south pole. Washed by the Southern Ocean. The area of the entire continent is 14.4 thousand square kilometers. The islands located in the waters of the Southern Ocean also belong to the territory of Antarctica.
Who discovered Antarctica?
In 1820, January 16, two boats under the names "East" and "Peace", stuck to the coast of Antarctica. It was an expedition led by Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. They are considered the official discoverers of Antarctica. After this expedition, the existence of the sixth continent was confirmed. Previously, its presence was supposed to be hypothetical. And often it was associated with South America. But after the expedition of Russian scientists who circled the globe through the ice of the south pole, an accurate evidence of the existence of a continent at the south pole of the earth was established. Bellingshausen and Lazarev approached the glaciers. And the first people who descended to the continental part of Antarctica were the captain of the ship "Antarctic" Christensen and the teacher of natural sciences Carsten Borhgrevink.
The American explorer of Antarctica Richard Baird wrote in 1947: �On the edge of our planet lies, like a sleeping princess, the earth chained in blue. Ominous and beautiful, it lies in its frosty slumber, in the folds of the mantle of snow, glowing with amethysts and emeralds of ice. She sleeps in the shimmering ice halos of the Moon and the Sun, and her horizons are colored in pink, blue, gold and green pastel colors ... Such is Antarctica, a continent almost equal in area to South America, the interior of which we are known less than the illuminated side of the Moon».
The very first guesses about the existence of the continent at the south pole were made in 1501-1502. The expedition led by Amerigo Vespucci, whose goal was to study the southern latitudes, reached the island of South Georgia. It is located far enough from Antarctica. Later Vespucci wrote about the reason for the return of the expedition: "The cold was so strong that none of our flotilla could bear it».
The expedition headed by Bellingshausen and Lazarev lasted 751 days. The distance covered by Vostok and Mirny was 100 thousand kilometers. This distance is equal to two and a half revolutions of the Earth at the equator. As a result of the expedition, 29 new islands were mapped.These studies marked the beginning of a long journey towards the development of a new sixth continent, the unexplored southern land of Antarctica.
A little bit about Antarctica:
Antarctica is the highest continent on Earth. The average height above sea level is more than 2 thousand meters. In the center of the continent, the height reaches 4 thousand meters. Antarctica is divided into two parts: the Trans-Antarctic Mountains. They cross the entire length of Antarctica. Thus, Antarctica is divided into Eastern and Western. The whole continent is covered with large ice cover, and only some parts of the Trans Antarctic Mountains are ice-free. The highest point of Antarctica is 5140 meters above sea level. This is the Vinson Massif in the Ellsworth Mountains. The lowest point that is 2555 meters below sea level is located in the Bentley Basin.
The discovery of Antarctica has led to the realization of mankind that the planet on which it lives, holds great secrets and unresolved issues. Every year interest in the study of southern latitudes increases. This is connected not only with the originality of the continent and its relief, but also with the ozone hole, which appears annually over Antarctica in the September-October month.
"Everybody knows from childhood that this and that is impossible. But there is always an ignoramus who does not know this.
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