There is so much that we don’t know yet about our planet, Earth. This is especially true when it comes to places which are remote, hard to reach and where the climate is harsh and uninviting. That makes Antarctica one of the most mysterious places on Earth – it’s an icy, remote, desolate desert with many secrets that are yet to be unraveled. The continent is so large that it may seem that scientists are just beginning to explore its vast territories and hidden treasures.
One internet user has compiled a list of the most interesting facts about Antarctica. Scroll down below to read the full list of amazing, fascinating and even unsettling data that is known today about the world’s harshest desert.
#1 An American Scientist Was The First And Only Person Find A Match On Tinder In Antarctica
One cold and lonely December night, an American scientist, who was conducting research on Antarctica, decided to log on to Tinder just for fun. He wanted to see if there were any women out on the icy, lonely continent. At first, no profiles showed up, but after the scientist expanded the app’s location radius, he actually found someone: another researcher, just a 45-minute helicopter ride away. He swiped right and a few minutes later they matched, making it the first Tinder match on Antarctica. Eli Duke
#2 There Are Places In Antarctica Which Haven’t Received Rain Or Snow In 2 Million Years
In Antarctica around 1% of the continent (4,000 km or 2,500 mi) is permanently ice-free – such areas are called dry valleys or Antarctic oasis. They are thought to be the world’s harshest deserts and it is estimated that these areas haven’t seen rain or snow in almost 2 million years. According to one study led by Australian scientists, due to climate change ice-free areas in Antarctica could expand up to 25% by the end of 21st century. This could drastically change the biodiversity of the continent.David Saul
#3 Emilio Marcos Palma Was The First Person To Be Born In Antarctica
In 1978 Emilio Marcos Palma made history by being the first person to be born on Antarctica. His father was the head of the Argentine Army detachment at the Esperanza Research Base. Since then, ten more people have been born on the continent, but Palma’s birthplace still remains the southernmost and has featured in the Guinness Book of Records. The Central Intelligence Agency
#4 There Is A Waterfall In Antarctica Which Is Called Blood Falls
Don’t worry – no real blood is running there. 5 million years ago, as sea levels rose, East Antarctica was flooded and a brine lake was formed there. After millions of years, glaciers formed on top of the lake. As they froze, the water below became even saltier. Today, the subglacial lake under Blood Falls is three times saltier than seawater and, therefore, is too salty to freeze.
The water beneath Taylor Glacier, which feeds the Blood Fall, contains a lot of iron (picked up from the underlying bedrock) and when iron-rich water comes in contact with air, the iron oxidizes and takes on a red coloring, leaving blood-like stains on the ice. Peter Rejcek
#5 The World’s Oldest Sperm Was Found In Antarctica
Back in 2015, scientists from Sweden found a 50 million-year-old fossilized clitellate worm cocoon in Antarctica, which contained the world’s oldest sperm. The sperm of this worm is very short-lived and extremely hard to find, however because it became trapped in the jelly-like cocoon before it hardened, it was preserved for millions of years. Swedish Museum Of Natural History
#6 More Meteorites Are Found In Antarctica Than Anywhere Else In The World
According to scientists, meteorites land everywhere with almost equal probability. However, if they fell in a humid jungle climate, moisture and oxygen would corrode them. In Antarctica, where the climate is extremely dry, the likelihood of corrosion is almost non-existent.
In addition to this, naturally, the rocks are easier to spot on the white, icy surface of Antarctica. Lastly, sometimes the East Antarctic ice sheet’s path to the sea is clogged by mountains or other obstructions.
If the sheet stays in one spot for a long time, strong winds and sunlight can evaporate the top layers and reveal much older ice and large meteorite concentrations within it. This way, more than 20,000 samples of rock from unknown sources were collected since 1976. NASA Johnson
#7 70% Percent Of World’s Fresh Water Is In Antarctica
Around 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of the fresh water is in Antarctica. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels in the world would rise about 200 feet (61 meters). Christopher Michel
#8 The Average Ice Sheet Thickness In Antarctica Is 1 Mile
Antarctica, the southernmost continent, is almost completely covered in a thick layer of ice (except for dry valleys, which make up around 1% of the area). The thickness of the ice sheet varies depending on the location, with the East Antarctic sheet being much thicker than the one in the West. On average, the ice is more than one mile (1.6 km) thick, but in some sections it can get as thick as almost three miles (4.8 km). Stuart Rankin
#9 The Largest Recorded Iceberg Was Bigger Than The Whole Island Of Jamaica
The world’s largest recorded iceberg, was Iceberg B-15, which measured around 183 miles (295 km) long and 23 miles (37 km) wide, with a surface area of 4,200 square miles (11,000 sq km) – making it larger than the whole island of Jamaica. In 2000, the Iceberg B-15 broke up into smaller icebergs and later drifted away into the sea. NSF/Josh Landis
#10 The Highest Temperature Ever Recorded On Antarctica Was 63.5 °F (17.5 °C)
The highest temperature ever recorded on the Antarctic continent, was 63.5 °F (17.5 °C). The discovery was made in 2015 at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza, near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. An even higher temperature of 67.6 °F (19.8 °C) was recorded on Signy island, located on the South Orkney Islands of Antarctica, back in 1982. Jen Fimmano