Does Antarctica have a city called Rome

Antarctica Country Information

"It lies wild like no other country on earth, unseen and untrodden."

(Roald Amundsen, 1911)

A pristine continent

The Antarctic - the subcontinent Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean - is still today one of the last regions of the world completely untouched by humans. Outside of the research stations and camps, there are virtually no traces of human civilization. For a long time one of the last big blank spots on the map, the Antarctic was only opened for seafaring from 1820, before the 19th century there was no evidence of the presence of humans.

Landscape of superlatives

The entire Antarctic area covers an area of ​​52 million km², but a large part of it is under water. Nevertheless, the (sub) continent of Antarctica with its area of ​​13.2 million km² is still almost 3 million km² larger than Europe. The landscape is barren, inhospitable and at the same time full of superlatives that attract extreme athletes from all over the world. The mainland area of ​​Antarctica is nothing more than the largest desert in the world and the 4,892 m high Mount Vinson is not only the highest mountain on the continent, but also the coldest of the "Seven Summits".

Tourism in the ice

Even today, Antarctica is one of the most remote, but also most exclusive travel destinations!
Not only researchers and fans of extremes are attracted, tourism is booming, and despite the hostile environment, cruises, shore excursions and mountain tours are offered and are enjoying growing popularity. But why do people voluntarily go into the cold of the eternal ice, not out of professional interest, but to go on vacation?

The ice is full of life

Because appearances are deceptive, as is so often the case. Of course there are hardly any more highly developed creatures on land, the largest land creature living permanently in Antarctica is a mosquito only 12 mm in size! Of course there are only 2 endemic flowering plant species, and the flora and fauna are otherwise limited to microorganisms, mosses, lichens and invertebrates.
And yet, for those who take a closer look, Antarctica is much more than just ice. Where life is rare on the land, one of the richest and most interesting biotopes on the planet can be found in the water and on the sea floor. Over 200 species of fish, squid, sea lions and seal species, emperor and adelie penguins, as well as countless sea birds such as albatrosses and petrels live in the Southern Ocean. In fact, the Arctic Ocean is so full of krill that a single whale can eat up to 4 tons of food a day during the feeding season - for 6 months! The Antarctic, barren and empty at first glance, is full of life. Numerous lakes are completely hidden under the ice. One of them, Lake Vostok, is the largest habitat on earth that is completely cut off from the rest of the world.

A treasure trove for science

Since Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole on his expedition in 1911, this landscape has lost none of its fascination for science. With the Antarctic Treaty, which came into force in 1961, it was even stipulated that uninhabited Antarctica should be available exclusively for research and peaceful use. Since then, researchers from all over the world have been collecting knowledge in the fields of astrophysics, climate research, medicine, meteorology and ozeonography. One of the most spectacular research areas in Antarctica is meteorite research. While deserts are generally good places to search for meteorites, as the desert climate counteracts weathering and there is simply no vegetation to obscure the view, there is also the striking color difference between the meteorite and the subsurface in the ice. Meteorites can possibly be spotted here with the naked eye, often several in one place, as they are often brought together by the glacier hikes. The ANSMET program (The Antarctic Search For Meteorites) launched in 1976 makes use of this in its work.

And it's not just meteorites that are reminiscent of space: the dry area “Dry Valleys” west of McMurdo Sound is so similar in texture to the surface of Mars that NASA tested its equipment for the Viking program there.

Fascination Antarctica

Antarctica, and this is as true today as it was 100 years ago, is still wild like no other country on earth, and it is still surrounded by the aura of the new and the never-before-seen. And that is exactly what makes this continent so fascinating: We feel distant and strange, as if on another planet and at the same time very close to us, at the root of life, which is able to assert itself against any adversity.