Posted on December 1, 2016
This is pretty cool – a website called Our Spaces, from the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces, has some resources to help you celebrate the scientific under-wonder-world shared by all humans: Antarctica!
Notice that there is a PDF available for download called “Celebrating Antarctica,” with illustrations from kids around the world. There is also a film with the same title. On the left side is a link to the “Kid's Area,” with fun facts and a game.
Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest, iciest, southernmost, and least diverse (livings things) place on Earth. Here are some specifics:
- Coldest – a record cold of -128 degrees F (-89 C)
- Driest – Dry Valleys, Antarctica, has low humidity and almost no snow or ice
- Windiest – on average, with some winds reaching 200 mph (320 km/h)
- Iciest – the Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest single mass of ice in the world – and 99% of the continent is covered by ice!
The average thickness of the ice sheet is about 1 mile!
Most of the world's freshwater ice (90%) and a majority of the world's fresh water (70%) is found here
- Most of the living things are found in the waters surrounding the continent, with some time spent on the coasts. This includes 8 species of penguins, 7 species of seals and other pinnipeds, and a few invertebrates (animals without backbones). Flying birds nest on the milder shores of the Antarctic Peninsula and subantarctic islands, where some plants grow and other small invertebrates such as beetles and flies In addition to these, smaller creatures exist:
|When we think of Antarctica, we think|
of funny-and-lovable penguins.
Although there are only 8 species of penguins
there, a lot of individual penguins live there
(see the black dots below!).
- land mollusks
- wingless midges
- micro-invertebrates such as nematodes and rotifers
- some snow algae
- bacteria that revive after long periods (centuries!) of being frozen
- about 1,150 species of fungi, almost all microscopic
- mosses and lichens
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