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INTRODUCING ANTARCTICA
Earth's southernmost continent, containing the geographic South Pole Antarctica 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 14.0 million square kilometers, it is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia.

Although Antarctica is mostly uninhabited and is known to be the coldest, windiest, and driest continent on earth - not to mention that during summer it receives more solar radiation than is received at the Equator in an equivalent period, it is also one of the planets most desired destinations. It was not until 1840 that the pristine remote wilderness area of Antarctica was established as indeed a continent and not just a group of islands.

Wild and windswept yet far from being a wasteland, Antarctica's sheets of white are an alluring blend of everything and nothingness. With few human inhabitants and wildlife unperturbed by human contact, visitors to Antarctica often feel like ghosts drifting across the Southern Ocean to a land that has no need for the vestiges of human civilisation.

Nevertheless, Antarctica's tale of exploration is a worthy one, and no visit is complete without contemplating the heroics of Shackleton and a visit to his South Georgia resting place. An olive branch of international cooperation, Antarctica's legacy is one of enduring natural beauty and renewed scientific importance. Whether exploring a deserted whaling station or floating through a glacier-lined channel, it is impossible to forget the sheer size and significance of this icy terrain.

Almost 98% solid ice,Antarctica was finally considered a continent in 1840, and not just a group of isolated islands. Today it has active territorial claims submitted by Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom. (Many of these claims are not recognized by some countries and remain in a constant disputed status).