Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean.
At 14,200,000 square kilometres (5,500,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of Australia. At 0.00008 people per square kilometre, it is by far the least densely populated continent. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The bottom of the world is the coldest place on earth, and is not conducive to human habitation. But people live there anyway, although not permanently, and not in the way we are used to. For one thing, what time is it? For another, what country are you in? And most important, how do you keep warm?
Here’s Video Explains the Logistics of Living in Antarctica
No one is “from” Antarctica, and no one can go there without a reason and great planning. Getting there is an adventure in itself. Wendover Productions explains the ins and outs of living in Antarctica in detail, and makes it all interesting.
Can you live in Antarctica?
Antarctica does not and has never had an indigenous population (there are no native human Antarcticans). The people who travel to or live in Antarctica fall into two main groups, those who live and work on scientific research stations or bases, and tourists.
There are around 66 scientific bases in Antarctica, of which about 37 are occupied year round, the remainder are open during the summer and closed down for winter. There are about 4,000 people through the summer months and about 1,000 overwinter each year.
In terms of numbers, tourists greatly outnumber national programme personnel, though the personnel on scientific bases clock up more man-days.
So can I go and live in Antarctica then?
You can get a job in Antarctica as a scientist or in scientific support, but it has to be in advance before you go there.
Access to Antarctica is restricted by the Antarctic Treaty. If you want to organize your own trip or expedition there, you will have to request permission from the government of your own country.