Get ready for Jeopardy!
Trip Start Jun 18, 2005
52Trip End Jan 01, 2006
When I told people I was going to visit Antarctica, responses varied from "Where is that?" to "Why would you want to do something like that?" to "What will you DO there?" to "It will be mighty cold there." It's like humor, I guess, if you have to explain it to someone, you know they will never get it anyhow! The people I'm traveling with on this ship are of one mind about Antarctica - they love it, are awed with it, and would come back in a minute.
Now you, take a peek at the bottom end of your World Globe, and get your gourd ready for a game of Jeopardy.
Some things to know about Antarctica, AKA, The Ice, gleaned from Alan Parker's lecture on Antarctica, and my Lonely Planet book
Antarctica has no wars.
Antarctica's environment is fully protected.
Antarctica is a nature reserve devoted to peace and science.
Antarctica has no native population.
Antarctica has no native government; no country holds title over any part of it.
Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty, with 45 member nations, who meet annually to discuss scientific cooperation, environmental protection, management of tourism, and preservation of historic sites.
Antarctic residents are temporary; people come to work in Antarctica from dozens of countries.
Antarctica's winter population is about 1,200 - one-third scientists and the rest support personnel; summer population is about 7,200.
Antarctica was visited by over 13,000 tourists in 2003 - 40% from the US, 15% each from Germany and the U. K., 6% from Australia, and 3% each from Japan, Canada and Switzerland.
Antarctica is the world's most arid continent.
Antarctica is the world's highest continent.
Antarctica is 99.6% covered by ice.
Antarctica's Lambert Glacier is the largest glacier in the world.
Antarctica's Ice Sheet is 1.4 times the size of the United States.
Antarctica's Ice Sheet contains 70% of the world's fresh water.
Antarctica's ice is so thick, accumulating over millions of years, that its weight pushes the land mass underneath below sea level.
Antarctica's Ice Sheet melts very little, even though it has constant sunrays during summer months, because the sun's heat is reflected back by the ice.