You don't often think of a cold place to travel to when you're on vacation. Think again. Antarctica is probably one of the last places you would even consider but don't cut it out just yet. Antarctica has many attractions that will inspire the adventurer in you to step outside your comfort zone. While it is a cold continent, you will not be sorry by what you see on your exploration. See Antarctica today!
1. Mount Erebus
You've climbed every mountain you can think of, but you haven't climbed this one. As you gather your gear and make your way up the mountain, the cold air will hit you right away. How refreshing! It's a beautiful breathtaking view when you finally reach the top. While you're exhausted and cold from the climb, you're proud that you've crossed Mt. Erebus offer your list. You've conquered the mountain.
Mount Erebus was discovered by explorer Sir James Clark Ross on January 27, 1841. It is a volcano in Antarctica that is 12,448 ft in elevation. It has been continuously active since 1972 and is the most active volcano in Antarctica. There are two camp sites you can find on the volcano, the Upper Summit Camp and Lower Camp E, and they have been recognized as historical sites and monuments. The low volcanic activity of Mount Erebus allows volcanologists to study the Strombolian eruptive system. Just because it has low activity doesn't mean you can't take precautions to be safe because you're still on a volcano after all.
2. Canada Glacier
Odds are you've never seen anything this big before. It's a dense piece of ice that floats on its own weight and is formed by the accumulation of snow. Amazing, isn't it? This majestic glacier will have you taking out your camera and taking dozens of pictures to show your friends when you get back home. It's mind blowing how big glaciers like the Canada Glacier can get, and you know it won't always be the same size forever. The memory will be something you will never forget.
The Canada Glacier flows southeast towards Taylor Valley in Victorian Land, Antarctica. The snowfall received by this glacier is 10 cm every year. This desert ecosystem, and it's melting season gives water to Lake Hoare and Lake Fryxell. The glacier was explored during the Terra Nova Expedition from 1910 to 1913. It was lead by Robert Wright, a physicist. Canada Glacier is also a protected area of ice under the Antarctica Treaty System because it has life living on it that you'll only get to see from a touring boat.
3. Blue Ice
The Blue Ice is mesmerizing in Antarctica. Of course it is only the result of ice freezing over the water but the blue is so beautiful that you just want to reach out and touch it. The sheer size will make you feel so small. A picture won't do it justice. You have to travel to Antarctica and see the ice for yourself. Don't miss it or you'll be sorry!
Blue ice is formed when snow ends up on a glacier, it then becomes compressed and part of the glacier. The air bubbles are forced out and the ice crystals become larger, creating the blue ice. The blue ice is blue for the same reason the water is blue. It is possible because of the overtone of the oxygen-hydrogen bond stretch in the water that absorbs the light at the red end of the visible spectrum. It's an amazing process you can't even see. All the reason to see blue ice up close and personal.
4. Transantarctic Mountains
Whether they are snow covered or bare, these are mountains you will want to climb to experience Antarctica. If you're lucky enough to bring your camera, you will be able to capture spectacular views of the snow covered world that is Antarctica. Be careful of avalanches! You'll be thrilled that you made it to the top in one piece. Sure the cold was a nuisance the whole way to the top but you can't experience this type of journey anywhere else. The mountain is yours to conquer.
The Transantarctic Mountains is located in Victoria Land near Cape Roberts and elevated at 14,856 ft. It's a mountain range that stretches from Cape Adare to to Coasts Land. They divide east Antarctica from west Antarctica and is the longest mountain range on Earth. Its sedentary layers are sandstones, siltstones, and coal. In 1841 these mountains were discovered by Captain James Ross. The name of this mountain range came to be by the US-ACAN committee in 1962 and is still accepted today.
When you think of icebergs, what comes to mind first? Titanic. Good try but the answer is Antarctica obviously. Icebergs come in all shapes and sizes so one will not look like the others. An iceberg is a part of a glacier that breaks off and floats freely in the water. While learning about icebergs isn't exactly fun, seeing them in person makes you feel so small and at same time amazed by the gigantic, floating pieces of ice.
Icebergs live near the shore in some cases, but you can seem them floating almost anywhere in Antarctica. A bird called the Skuas can be found resting on these icebergs. They can weight from 100 tons to billions of tons. Icebergs become so big because they grow over long periods of time. An iceberg can stem from glacial as well as ice shelf origin. The tip is 1/5th to 1/7th on the surface of the water, and this can be dangerous because it is much bigger beneath the surface and ships passing by can become damaged and potentially sink.
6. Albert P. Crary Science and Engineering Center
It isn't the most attractive looking center from the outside but the inside is a whole different story. This 4,320 square meters facility holds a biology, earth sciences, and atmospheric sciences pods as well as an aquarium. Wow! It was named after a geophysicist and glaciologist Albert P. Crary for his achievements in 1991 by the National Science Foundation. This science and engineering center is where new discoveries are made. How exciting is that?
The Albert P. Crary Science and Engineering Center is located at McMurdo Station. The working conditions and access to modern technology makes this place ideal for scientific research. Plans for this building started in 1984 where the design and science requirements were met. It was built to withstand the cold of Antarctica and open to change in the future. All the pods were completed by 1993. The center would have never been possible without the funds of the National Science Foundation.
7. Aurora Australis
If the lights in the sky of Antarctica doesn't get you here, then nothing else will. The sky experiences different colors of light depending on what's going on in the environment of the atmosphere. It's a natural light that will not only amaze and astound you, but it also is a great, romantic setting for couples. You have to travel to Antarctica to see this. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Get going, what are you waiting for?
Aurora Australis is also known as the southern lights. It is a curtain of light, a sheet, or a diffuse glow in the sky. Green and red are just some of the colors you will see. Its usually ranges from 100 km to 500 km in height. This southern hemisphere attraction is at its strongest as an oval on the magnetic pole when it's centered. It can be seen at the Amundsen Scott South Pole Station.
8. Observation Hill
What better place to observe Antarctica then on a 754 foot hill? It is located next to McMurdo Station and is often called the "Ob Hill." You can bring friends and family with you to experience the environment and to take pictures that will last forever. Observation Hill overlooks the buildings below and also gives you a good view of the continent. You can't beat that! Just say yes to Antarctica!
The Observation Hill is a great hill to climb not only to see great views but to see the refreshing clear skies of Antarctica. The Memorial Cross on the hill is a popular landmark for tourists to visit. Its historical significance is tragic, and the cross honors the members of the Robert Falcon Scott's party who died. Their bodies were found by a search party led by Dr. Edward Atkinson. It was recognized as a historical site in 1972 by the Antarctic Treaty Signatories. It's history is worth traveling to Antarctica.
9. McMurdo Station
This is the station you see as you're standing on the observation hill. From the hill it looks so intricate and different then when you're seeing McMurdo Station close up. It's a polar research organization where cargo passes through this station first from Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It sounds like a lot of hard work. It is a place of science and research that you won't be able to fully experience if you don't discover this station for yourself. Make your way to the station today!
The McMurdo Station is located on Ross Island. It is run by the US through the United States Antarctic Program, which is a part of the National Science Foundation. The community is large and can inhabit 1,258 residents. Most inhabitants are scientists as well as station personnel. They are a part of the USAP that offers research and operational support when needed. It's a scientific facility that includes a harbor, airfields, a heliport, and more than 100 buildings to discover.
10. Antarctic Ocean
It's a wide cold ocean that you can only appreciate on a boat. There are so many animals to see and so may pictures to take that you'll run out of film before you even get to the shore. It's a big, big ocean out there and odds are you won't be able to explore every part. You'll see glaciers as tall as buildings and icebergs floating right past you, and you know you'll never forget your time in Antarctica. Your life will never be the same. Antarctica will never be the same.
The Antarctic Ocean surrounds the continent of Antarctica. It is the fourth largest body of water in the world. There are some scientist that don't believe that the ocean shouldn't be classified as a body of water. They believe it should be a part of the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. It is said to be between 4,000 to 5,000 depths. It was created when the tectonic plates moved apart, opening Drake Passage, which gave way to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to come to life, making the Antarctic Ocean what it is today.
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