Antarctica

Requested by Buzz

Antarctican Fact 1 (Nov. 30–Dec. 6, 2008)

The lowest known land point in Antarctica is hidden in the Bentley Subglacial Trench; at its surface is the deepest ice yet discovered and the world’s lowest elevation not under seawater, 2,555 m (8,382.5 ft) below sea level.  The highest point is Vinson Massif at 4,897 m (16,066 ft) above sea level.

Antarctican Fact 2 (Dec. 7–Dec. 13, 2008)

Antarctica has more computers connected to the Internet than almost half the countries in the world, including Liechtenstein and Cuba.

Antarctican Fact 3 (Dec. 14–Dec. 20, 2008)

If Antarctica were a country, it would be the second largest country in the world, behind Russia, being about 1.5 times larger than Canada.

Antarctican Fact 4 (Dec. 21–Dec. 27, 2008)

Antarctica has an economy.  Its sole sources of income in 2006–07 (the last year for which there are complete figures—the fiscal year goes from July 1 to June 30) were the 36,460 tourists, and the the 126,976 metric tons (141,185 tons) of fish caught off its coast.  There were 45,652 tourists in 2007–08.

Antarctican Fact 5 (Dec. 28, 2008–Jan. 3, 2009)

It’s against U.S. law to take native mammals or birds, introduce nonindigenous plants and animals, enter into specially protected areas, discharge or dispose of pollutants, and import into the U.S. certain items from Antarctica without authorization.  Stealing a penguin could cost you $10,000 and put you in jail for a year.  For information on how to get authorization to take a penguin, you can mail the Permit Office at the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation (Permit Office, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia  22230) or call them at (703) 292-8030.