Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It is the fifth-largest continent and 98% of it is covered by an ice-sheet that averages at least 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) in thickness.
- It is a common misconception that "Antarctica" literally means "no bears". While there are no bears in Antarctica, the name is a romanized version of the Greek compound word Αntarktiké (Aνταρκτική). "Arctica", or "Arctic land", comes from arktos (άρκτος), meaning "bear". "Anti-" means "opposite" in both Greek and English. Thus, the compound word means "opposite of the Arctic land" (or "opposite of bear land").
- The first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen.
- The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by twelve countries; to date, forty-five countries have signed the treaty. The Antarctic Treaty prohibits new claims from being made after 1961 as well as the expansion of existing claims, but does not suspend preexisting claims.
- Currently, there are seven claimant nations (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom) who maintain official claims on territories in Antarctica, and one nation (Brazil) that has an unofficial claim.
- The island territories known as Bouvet Island (Norway), the French Southern Territories, Heard Island and McDonald Islands (Australia), and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Great Britain) are sometimes associated with Antarctica, but have no indigenous populations.
- Antarctica History at Wikipedia
- Antarctica Travel Guide at Wikitravel
- Nationsonline.org map of Antarctica
- Official Site of the De Facto Government of Antarctica
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