Antarctica is A dessert
Many people do for a fact that Antarctica is a continent but there are only a few people who know that Antarctica is also a dessert. The reason for Antarctica being called a dessert is that it receives less than 51 mm of annual precipitation or in other words rain.
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming areas on Earth
The Antarctic Peninsula is warming more quickly than many other areas on Earth. In fact, it is one of the most rapidly warming areas on the planet. Over the past 50 years, average temperatures across the Antarctic Peninsula have increased by 3°C (37.4°F), five times the average increase on Earth.
This has led to some changes, for example where and when penguins form colonies and sea ice forms. It also means that the lush mosses of the Antarctic Peninsula have a slightly longer growing season.
There is no Antarctic time zone
The question of time in Antarctica is a tricky one. At the South Pole the lines of longitude, which give us different time zones around the globe, all meet at a single point. Most of Antarctica experiences 6 months of constant daylight in summer and 6 months of darkness in winter. Time starts to feel a little different without the normal markers for day and night.
Scientists working in Antarctica generally stay in the time zone of the country they departed from, but this can cause some issues. For example, on the Antarctic Peninsula, you can find stations from Chile, China, Russia, the UK, and many other countries. You can imagine that if all of these neighboring stations, keep to their home time zones it could get a little confusing trying to share data and resources without accidentally waking one another up in the middle of the night!
Every way is north
If you stand at the South Pole, you are at the southernmost point on Earth. It doesn’t matter which way you look, every direction is north. So why do we talk about the Antarctic Peninsula as being in West Antarctica, and the section directly south of Australia as East Antarctica?
It’s based on the prime meridian, an imaginary line that passes through Greenwich in the UK at 0 degrees of longitude. If you stand at the South Pole and face towards Greenwich, everything to your left is West Antarctica and everything to your right is east Antarctica.
Antarctica has active volcanoes
Antarctica is home to several volcanoes and two of them are active. Mount Erebus, the second-highest volcano in Antarctica is the southernmost active volcano on Earth. Located on Ross Island, this icebound volcano has some unique features such as ice fumaroles and twisted ice statues that form around gases that seep from vents near the volcanic crater.
The second active volcano is on Deception Island, a volcanic caldera in the South Shetland Islands.
There’s a subglacial lake that flows blood red
A remote glacier in East Antarctica, a strange phenomenon was observed in 1911. The lily-white ice of the Taylor Glacier was being stained a deep red by water flowing from deep within the glacier.
For many years the source of the red color remained a mystery, but in 2017 scientists announced that they had discovered the cause. The water flowing from within the glacier was from a subglacial lake that is high in salt and oxidized iron. And when it came into contact with oxygen the iron rusted, giving the water its striking red shade, and its name: Blood Falls.
Antarctica used to be as hot as Melbourne
This fact is hard to believe but is certainly true. According to researchers Antarctica(40–50 million years ago) had an annual range of 17–20°c . They have also found fossils showing Antarctica covered with verdant green forests and inhabited by dinosaurs.
Diamond dust floats in the air
Although there are low levels of precipitation in Antarctica, meteorological wonders abound and diamond dust is one of them!
Tiny ice crystals that precipitate out of humid air create diamond dust. It’s a little like an icy fog. As ice crystals hang suspended in the air and sunlight causes them to sparkle. Which creating a glittering effect that looks like a million tiny floating diamonds. Diamond dust is also responsible for beautiful optical phenomena like sun dogs, halos, and light pillars.