Southernmost continent, containing the geographic South Pole
- Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia.
- About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages at least 1 mile (1.6 km) in thickness.
- It is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents.
- It is used as a continental name in the 1890s, first by Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew.
- The Antarctic Treaty signed in 1959 prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone.
- Vinson Massif located in the Ellsworth Mountains is the highest peak in Antarctica at 4,892 m (16,050 ft). Ellsworth Mountains are one of the Seven Summits of the world.
- Antarctica has more than 70 lakes that lie at the base of the continental ice sheet.
- In 2008, a NASA team embarked on a mission to Lake Untersee, searching for extremophiles in its highly alkaline waters.
- It has no permanent residental population although a number of governments maintain permanent manned research stations throughout the continent.
- The Snow Petrel is one of only three birds that breed exclusively in the region.