The South Pole is a remarkable and yet formidable stretch of ice, glaciers, and rugged mountains. Still, regardless of this seemingly repellent exterior, many of us are mystically drawn to maybe even visiting it one day. Not only because we can brag that we’ve been to the coldest, driest, and the windiest place of Earth but also because this is probably the most unique destination out there.
Antarctica is quite a handful when it comes to planning because it’s not an average backpacking tourist destination you can visit in a blink of an eye. The sheer magnitude of it is enough to make even the most intrepid of travelers think twice before booking a tour.
Anyone who is in two minds about visiting this imposing continent has to know that there are at least 7 reasons why Antarctica should be added to your bucket list.
Antarctica is a No Man’s Land
As utopian as this might seem, Antarctica is a continent without a president, government, schools, banks – anything that makes up for life as we know it. It serves as the last untouched piece of wilderness used solely for scientific purposes. The countries who signed the Antarctic Treaty back in 1959 have pledged never to militarize the region or tarnish the fragile landscapes.
It Has No Indigenous Population
Though humans have inhabited almost every single inch of the planet, there are actually no people living in Antarctica, at least not on a permanent basis. The only people who temporarily live there are scientists and assistance staff. They are not allowed to stay there forever but instead, their stay is limited to a maximum of 18 months. Their only mission is to boost conservation and try to get to the bottom of the secrets these mysterious regions hold.
There’s a Limit to the Number of Visitors
In order to keep the South Pole as intact as possible, only a restricted number of tourists can visit the continent. The same goes for tour operators. The companies who take visitors to the Seventh Continent are obligated to uphold the standards of responsible tourism in order to support long-term conservation. Until recently, the only way to get to the South Pole was by cruising. Nowadays, you can fly there with one of the few authorized companies.
The infinite miles of ice and glaciers set against the deep blue ocean are some of the most fascinating landscapes in the world. The chilly atmosphere is easily captured in the photographs and it speaks volumes about uniqueness and isolation of these remote areas.
Though apparently hostile toward any life forms, wildlife in Antarctica is blooming. It is there that you can see unique species of penguins as they frolic in the water or else strut around the icy shores. They don’t fret humans as they never encounter any predators on land. Though penguins dominate the continent, you will be able to see Elephant Seals and whales as you cruise along the ice-covered shores.
Antarctica Holds Several World Records
Apart from being the coldest place on Earth with average temperatures ranging between −10°C and −60°C, it is also the windiest region on the globe. During winter, the winds can whip at breakneck speeds sometimes reaching 200 miles per hour. It is also the single biggest mass of ice in the world and the thickest chunk of ice ever recorded was 2 kilometers thick.
Even though people don’t populate Antarctica, their impact is surely visible. Our negligence has induced severe climate changes and as a consequence, the ice keeps melting away, instigating a disbalance in the ecosystems and taking some species to the verge of extinction. Once you visit Antarctica, you will have the chance to truly appreciate this one-of-a-kind piece of wilderness and spread the word about the importance of preserving it.
The final verdict
Anyone with a knack for adventure should definitely visit Antarctica. The otherworldly experience will help you switch-off and will instantly awaken the primordial instincts of the unique bond we have with nature. It is not until you set foot on its soil or sail close to its shores that you will genuinely cherish Antarctica’s imposing allure.