What is Antarctica?
Antarctica is a continent that is right at the southern tip of the planet. If you try to find it on a globe, you will see that it is at the bottom.
It takes up one-tenth of the Earth's surface and is covered with a blanket of ice that can be 1,500 thick metres. The South Pole is right in the middle of Antarctica.
Antarctica is the coldest continent, as well as the driest, the highest and the windiest. Very few people live there all year round. Scientists stay there for short periods, living in specially built research stations.
Summer in Antarctica is between October and March. During this time there is non-stop daylight. In winter, April to September, the opposite happens and Antarctica is dropped into six months of constant darkness.
In Antarctica it is colder than you can possibly imagine, even in the summer! The South Pole is the coldest part of Antarctica. The average temperature for January, the middle of the summer, is minus 28 degrees Celsius (-28 °C).
In winter, April to September, the average temperature at the South Pole can be as cold as -89 °C. When it is that cold, a mug of boiling water thrown in the air would freeze before it hit the ice. Sometimes the scientists have to use fridges to keep their samples' warm.
1. Antarctica is the coldest place on the Earth. What other records does it hold?
A. driest and cloudiest
B. wettest and windiest
C. windiest and driest
D. cloudiest and highest
2. Why do most people who visit Antarctica choose not to go there between April and September?
A. because it is summer in Antarctica
B. because there is non-stop daylight during this time
C. because it is a period of constant darkness
D. because it is too dry and sunny
3. Why do the scientists have to use fridges to keep their samples warm?
A. because it is too hot outside
B. because of wild animals
C. because of constant darkness
D. because it is too cold outside