The massive icy vastness dominated the vision as far as the eyes could see. The supremacy…
Antarctica, the world’s fifth largest continent. The most southern continent. It is also the world’s highest, windiest, coldest, driest, and iciest. The continent of Antarctica is about 5.5 million square miles (14.2 million square km) in size. Antarctica’s name means “opposite to the Arctic.” Antarctica represents about 90 percent off the world’s ice and about 80 percent of its fresh water.
The earliest beginnings of Antarctica extends far back as 3 billion years, into early Precambrian time. Evolutionary phases began by about 70 million years ago, late in the Mesozoic Era. Antarctica became isolated with the opening of the Drake Passage sometimes between 49 million and 17 million years ago.
From the late 18th to the mid-20th century, whalers and sealers surrounded the continent, which science then replaced as the primary activity around and in Antarctica. Governments went on early expeditions. Then, in the years 1957-1958 the International Geophysical Year (IGY) and the twelve countries active in Antarctica signed the Antarctic Treaty.