This map uses an orthographic projection, near-polar aspect. The South Pole is near the center, where longitudinal lines converge.
Area14,000,000 km2 (5,400,000 sq mi)[1]
Population density0.00008/km2 (0.0002/sq mi)
Largest citiesResearch stations in Antarctica

Antarctica (UK: ə/ or ə/, US: ə/ (About this soundlisten))[note 1] is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,000,000 square kilometres (5,400,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness,[5] which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents.[6] Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 in) along the coast and far less inland.[7] The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) (or even −94.7 °C (−135.8 °F) as measured from space[8]), though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63 °C (−81 °F). Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants, protista, and certain animals, such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades. Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra.

Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") date back to antiquity, Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of easily accessible resources, and isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed landing was conducted by a team of Norwegians.

Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and thirty-eight have signed it since then. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.


Adelie penguins in Antarctica

The name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική (antarktiké), feminine of ἀνταρκτικός (antarktikós),[9] meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north".[10]

Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC[11] Marinus of Tyre reportedly used the name in his unpreserved world map from the 2nd century CE. The Roman authors Hyginus and Apuleius (1–2 centuries CE) used for the South Pole the romanised Greek name polus antarcticus,[12][13] from which derived the Old French pole antartike (modern pôle antarctique) attested in 1270, and from there the Middle English pol antartik in a 1391 technical treatise by Geoffrey Chaucer (modern Antarctic Pole).[14]

Before acquiring its present geographical connotations, the term was used for other locations that could be defined as "opposite to the north". For example, the short-lived French colony established in Brazil in the 16th century was called "France Antarctique".

The first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew.[15]

Other Languages
Acèh: Antartika
Afrikaans: Antarktika
Alemannisch: Antarktika
አማርኛ: አንታርክቲካ
Ænglisc: Antarctica
aragonés: Antarctida
arpetan: Antartica
asturianu: Antártida
Avañe'ẽ: Antártida
azərbaycanca: Antarktida
تۆرکجه: جنوبی قوطب
Bân-lâm-gú: Lâm-ke̍k Tāi-lio̍k
башҡортса: Антарктида
беларуская: Антарктыда
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Антарктыда
भोजपुरी: अंटार्कटिका
Bikol Central: Antartika
Bislama: Antarktik
български: Антарктида
Boarisch: Antarktika
bosanski: Antarktik
brezhoneg: Antarktika
буряад: Антарктида
català: Antàrtida
Чӑвашла: Антарктида
Cebuano: Antarctica
čeština: Antarktida
chiShona: Antarctica
corsu: Antartide
Cymraeg: Yr Antarctig
dansk: Antarktis
davvisámegiella: Antárktis
Deutsch: Antarktika
dolnoserbski: Antarktika
eesti: Antarktis
Ελληνικά: Ανταρκτική
español: Antártida
Esperanto: Antarkto
estremeñu: Antáltia
euskara: Antartika
فارسی: جنوبگان
Fiji Hindi: Antarctica
føroyskt: Antarktis
français: Antarctique
Frysk: Antarktika
furlan: Antartic
Gaeilge: Antartaice
Gàidhlig: Antargtaga
galego: Antártida
ГӀалгӀай: Антарктида
贛語: 南極洲
گیلکی: نسا تۊک
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: अंटार्क्टिका
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Nàm-khi̍t-chû
хальмг: Антарктик
한국어: 남극
Hawaiʻi: ‘Ane‘ālika
հայերեն: Անտարկտիդա
hornjoserbsce: Antarktika
hrvatski: Antarktika
Ilokano: Antartika
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: এন্টার্কটিকা
Bahasa Indonesia: Antarktika
interlingua: Antarctica
Interlingue: Antarctic
isiZulu: I-Antatika
italiano: Antartide
Basa Jawa: Antartika
къарачай-малкъар: Антарктида
ქართული: ანტარქტიდა
kaszëbsczi: Antarktida
қазақша: Антарктида
kernowek: Antarktika
Kinyarwanda: Antarigitika
Kreyòl ayisyen: Antatik (kontinan)
kurdî: Antarktîka
Кыргызча: Антарктида
Ladino: Antartika
Latina: Antarctica
latviešu: Antarktīda
Lëtzebuergesch: Antarktis
lietuvių: Antarktida
Ligure: Antartego
Limburgs: Antarctica
Lingua Franca Nova: Antartica
Livvinkarjala: Antarktidu
la .lojban.: ziptu'a
lumbaart: Antartid
magyar: Antarktika
македонски: Антарктик
Malagasy: Antartika
მარგალური: ანტარქტიდა
Bahasa Melayu: Antartika
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Nàng-gĭk-ciŭ
Mirandés: Antártica
монгол: Антарктид
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အန္တာတိက
Nāhuatl: Antartida
Nederlands: Antarctica
नेपाल भाषा: एन्टार्टिका
日本語: 南極大陸
Napulitano: Antartide
нохчийн: Антарктида
Nordfriisk: Antarktikaa
Norfuk / Pitkern: Antartica
norsk: Antarktika
norsk nynorsk: Antarktis
Nouormand: Antarctique
Novial: Antarktika
occitan: Antartida
олык марий: Антарктиде
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Antarktida
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਅੰਟਾਰਕਟਿਕਾ
پنجابی: انٹارکٹکا
Papiamentu: Antartica
Patois: Antaatika
Перем Коми: Антарктида
ភាសាខ្មែរ: អង់តាកទិក
Picard: Intarctike
Piemontèis: Antàrtide
Plattdüütsch: Antarktika
polski: Antarktyda
Ποντιακά: Ανταρκτικήν
português: Antártida
Qaraqalpaqsha: Antarktika
qırımtatarca: Antarktida
Ripoarisch: Süüdpool
română: Antarctida
Runa Simi: Antartika
русиньскый: Антарктіда
русский: Антарктида
саха тыла: Антарктика
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱟᱱᱴᱟᱨᱠᱚᱴᱤᱠᱟ
Gagana Samoa: Anetatika
संस्कृतम्: अण्टार्क्टिका
sardu: Antàrticu
Seeltersk: Antarktikoa
Sesotho sa Leboa: Antarctica
shqip: Antarktiku
sicilianu: Antàrtidi
Simple English: Antarctica
slovenčina: Antarktída
slovenščina: Antarktika
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Антарктїка
ślůnski: Antarktyda
Soomaaliga: Antarktika
српски / srpski: Антарктик
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Antarktik
ၽႃႇသႃႇတႆး : Antarctica
Basa Sunda: Antartika
svenska: Antarktis
Tagalog: Antartiko
Taqbaylit: Tantarktit
tarandíne: Antartide
татарча/tatarça: Антарктида
tetun: Antártida
тоҷикӣ: Антарктида
lea faka-Tonga: ʻAnetātika
Türkçe: Antarktika
Türkmençe: Antarktika
українська: Антарктида
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئانتاركتىدا
Vahcuengh: Namzgigcouh
vèneto: Antartide
vepsän kel’: Antarktid
Tiếng Việt: Châu Nam Cực
Võro: Antarktis
walon: Antartike
文言: 南極洲
West-Vlams: Antarctica
Winaray: Antartika
吴语: 南極洲
Xitsonga: Antakthika
ייִדיש: אנטארקטיקע
Yorùbá: Antárktìkà
粵語: 南極洲
Zazaki: Antarktika
Zeêuws: Antartica
žemaitėška: Antarktėda
中文: 南极洲