Do you have an unquenchable thirst for Antarctica-related facts? You no doubt do! That’s why you’re in for a real treat. Armed with a pencil, notepad and a fleet of canoes, we went down to Antarctica to get to the bottom of this mysterious, ice-filled continent. What did we discover? Eight incredible facts, although we admittedly made one of them up just for fun. See if you can figure out which seven are true and which one is complete BS! Think you’re up to the challenge?
1. You Might Find a Tinder Date in Antarctica If You Play Your Cards Right
You probably immediately concluded that this one is the lie, right? Of course it’s not, silly head! Do you really think we would make things all anti-climatic by listing the lie first? True story: once upon a time back in December 2014, a bored and lonely American scientist working at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica decided to hunt for chickadees on Tinder. His first search produced no results, but after expanding the location range, he discovered the profile of another researcher who was camping around 45 miles away! He swiped right and moments later they were a match. One of them took the keys to the helicopter (as any of us would do) and within minutes they were together. He withheld his name in reports since the government sort of frowns upon its employees using the research center’s expensive bandwidth to look for some girl.
2. Eleven People Have Been Born in Antarctica So Far
Have you ever heard of Emilio Marcos Palma? Does January 7, 1978 ring a bell? If not, today’s your lucky day because we’re going to educate you! The son of Argentinian parents – including a father who was an army officer at the Esperanza Research Base – Mr. Palma was the first documented human ever born in Antarctica. Ten other babies have since celebrated the first moments of their lives there, but as the expression that I’m making up right now goes, “There is first place and then all of the losers who aren’t in first place.”
3. Antarctica Used to Have Temperatures That Reached 62 °F (17 °C)
As we all know, Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth, which probably makes the experience of wrapping yourself in a blanket and sipping hot cocoa next to a warm fire extra satisfying. But there was a time when the continent had a far more mild climate. Around 40-50 million years ago, temperatures in Antarctica reached the mid-60s, pretty much making it Poland during the dog days of summer. In fact, you could even find lush forests and even dinosaurs back in those days.. .just like in Poland today!!!
4. Antarctica Has No Time Zones
Because of where the continent is located, the whole time thing gets pretty wacky. With almost constant sunlight during the summer and perpetual darkness in the winter, the normal indicators we use to tell time are completely pointless. Add to this the fact that the lines of longitude get closer and closer together as you approach Antarctica, and there isn’t really any possible way to properly apply a time zone. Instead, scientists working there base their time zone off of the port where they departed, which means pure anarchy if we’re talking about neighboring stations that arrived from different parts of the world. But whatever. Physicists and philosophers say time is a mere illusion anyway.
5. Antarctica is the Only Continent Without Ants
Ants are practically everywhere. They crash your picnics, crawling up and down your arms like ants do. They wander your kitchen, with drops of sweet, sweet spilt cola as their reward. As children, we enjoyed stepping on them because they were oh-so-squashable. But if we all lived in Antarctica, none of this would be possible since it’s the one place in the world not colonized by these buggies.
6. Some Parts of Antarctica Haven’t Seen Precipitation in 2 million Years
When you think of Antarctica, you probably imagine penguins building huge ice castles and polar bears engaging in epic snowball fights. While this seems perfectly reasonable, there are actually areas of the continent where this would be impossible since they haven’t received rain or snow in what seems like an eternity. Granted, it’s only around 1% of Antarctica, but that’s still 2500 miles of frozen desert! So next time you freak out because it hasn’t rained in a week (as you have a tendency to do), remember that it could be worse.
7. Santa Claus and His Elves Live in a Huge Compound in the Middle of Antarctica
This is the lie.