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Antarctic continent

Antarctic continent (Picture 1)

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The Antarctic continent is the land of the guide pole continent except the surrounding islands. It is the latest continent discovered in the world. It is located at the southernmost end of the earth alone. More than 95% of the Antarctic continent is covered by extremely thick ice and snow, known as the "white continent". Among the six continents in the world, the Antarctic continent is larger than the Australian continent, ranking fifth. The Antarctic continent and the Australian continent are the only two continents in the world surrounded by the ocean. They are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. They form a huge water circle around the earth, which is completely closed. The world ’s completely isolated continent still has no permanent residents, and only a small number of scientific investigators take turns temporarily living and working in the few research stations.

The Antarctic continent is the most inaccessible continent. The continent closest to the Antarctic continent is South America, between them is the Drake Strait 970 kilometers wide. The Antarctic continent is not only far away from other continents, but also surrounded by ice shelves and floating ice of several kilometers or even hundreds of kilometers. In winter, the area of ​​floating ice can reach 19 million square kilometers; even in the summer of the Antarctic, its area There are also 2.6 million square kilometers; there are tens of thousands of huge icebergs floating in the ocean around the Antarctic continent, causing great difficulties and dangers for navigation at sea.

According to the data obtained from the geophysical survey in Antarctica for more than 30 years and the results of the splicing of the related plates according to the plate structure theory, Antarctica is rich in coal, iron, oil and natural gas. Coal resources mainly exist in the Hengduan Mountains of Antarctica. They are Permian coals with relatively shallow storage phases and coal bumps. Iron ore is stored in the area from Inderby to Wilcox in the Antarctic, but the largest iron ore is in the Prince Charles Mountains, which stretches for tens of kilometers. In addition, Antarctica also has gold, silver, platinum and chromium , Tin, lead and other metal deposits. According to the fact that Antarctica has a large coal field, it can be assumed that it was once located in a warm latitude zone, so that lush forests could form coal fields through geological effects, and then it drifted over a long distance before reaching its present position.

The hinterland of Antarctica is almost a barren land. The only creatures there are simple plants and one or two insects. However, the ocean is full of life. There are seaweeds, corals, starfish and sponges. There are many tiny creatures called krill in the ocean. Krill is a large number of fish, seabirds, seals, penguins and Whales provide a source of food. In Antarctica, where the climate is very cold, plants are difficult to grow, and occasionally some plants such as moss and lichen can be seen. There are birds and sea beasts near the coast and islands. The majority of birds are penguins. In summer, penguins often gather along the coast to form a representative Antarctic scene. The sea beasts mainly include seals, sea lions and dolphins. The ocean around the continent is home to whales and is an important whaling area in the world. The number of whales has been greatly reduced due to excessive hunting, and sea animals such as seals have almost disappeared. There are also many nutrient-rich krill in the ocean near Antarctica. Krill is also abundant in the oceans around Antarctica, with an estimated annual catch of 1.05 billion tons, which can be used for human demand for aquatic products.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, explorers from various countries have successively discovered different regions of the Antarctic continent. The governments of 10 countries including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Australia, France, Norway, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil Successive claims have been made to parts of Antarctica, making this peaceful land that has been frozen for thousands of years shrouded in the shadow of international disputes. According to the "International Antarctic Treaty" adopted in June 1961, the territorial sovereignty requirements of the above 10 countries on Antarctica are frozen, and the Antarctic is only used for peaceful purposes. It can be said that Antarctica does not belong to any country, it belongs to all mankind.

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