Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, encapsulating the South Pole. It is situated in the Antarctic region of the southern hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by theSouthern Ocean. At 14.0 million sq km (5.4 million sq mi), it is the fifth-largest continent in area after. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which averages at least 1.6 km (1.0 mi) in thickness.
Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (eight inches) along the coast and far less inland. There are few permanent human residents, abd anywhere from 1000 to 5000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Only cold-adapted plants and animals survive there, including penguins, seals, nematodes, tardigrades,mites, many types of algae and other micro-organisms, and tundra vegetation.
In 1920, an Antarctic Commission was set up in order to divide the Antarctic continent. Germany, France, Britain, Chile, Argentina and Australia all got parts of it.
Antarctica has several regions belonging to different nations.
Germany has 2 territories in Antarctica: New Swabia (the larger), which it claimed in 1926 and New Brandenburg, which it claimed in 1929. Germany has a nuclear test site in New Swabia. at least 200 people work year-round in this top secret site.
The Chilean territory of Nuevo Chile is the largest in Antarctica
British Antarctican Territory