Do you want to escape the urban grind and work somewhere really different? How about Antarctica? The ice-covered continent has lots of opportunities, plus it’s free of mineral mining, nuclear waste disposal and military activities.
Antarctica is the Earth’s southern-most continent and home to the South Pole. It’s nearly twice the size of Australia, and approximately 98% of it is covered by ice that averages 1.6 kilometres in thickness. There are no permanent residents of Antarctica, however, anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside here throughout the year at various research stations.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth, as well as the windiest. The lowest temperature ever registered here was -89 degrees Celsius.
- Antarctica is the driest place on the planet. Even the hottest desert in the world sees more precipitation.
- The emperor penguin, which lives in Antarctica, is the tallest and heaviest of all penguin species.
- Antarctica has no government, and no country owns it. It remains the only region in the world not ruled by any nation.
- Antarctica is the only continent with no time zone. Scientist communities in Antarctica tend to keep with the time zone of either their homelands or the supply line that brings them food. Here, you can walk all of the Earth’s 24 time zones in a mere few seconds.
The climate of Antarctica is what you would expect of the coldest place on Earth: cold! It is also the driest place in the world, recording the lowest amount of precipitation per year. There are no monthly averages above 0 degrees Celsius.
It is said that the first confirmed sighting of Antarctica can be narrowed down to the crews of ships captained by three individuals in and around 1820. Famous Antarctica explorers include James Clark Ross, who now has the Ross Sea and Ross Island named after him, as well as the giant wall of ice known as the Ross Ice Shelf. The first person to sail single-handedly to Antarctica was a New Zealander by the name of David Henry Lewis, who did it in a 10-metre steel sloop called Ice Bird.
There aren’t many places in the world where you can be at an arm’s length from thousands of penguins, which is why penguin watching is the most popular thing to do on visits to Antarctica.
A zodiac is a small boat that fits eight to 12 people and is able to navigate the smaller water passages in Antarctica. On a zodiac cruise, you will be able to see icebergs up close and, if you’re really lucky, you’ll also get to see many different types of seals.
KAYAKING & CAMPING
When you reach some of the safer locations in Antarctica, many tour operators offer both kayaking and camping. Both can be quite pricey due to the dangers and difficulties of the location.
While on your visit to Antarctica, be sure to book a cruise with one of the many companies that offer whale watching. This is a chance to see some of the world’s most beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.