Antarctica seen for the first time. American sealer Captain John Anderson first person to set foot on the continent.

Naval officer Charles Wilkes establishes that Antarctica is a continent.

Discovery expedition by Captain Scott attempts to walk to the South Pole and reaches 82°16’.

The Shackleton Nimrod expedition reaches 88°23’, 97 nautical miles short of the Pole.

Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian team reach the Pole for the first time.

Robert Falcon Scott and his team from the Terra Nova reach the Pole to find they have been beaten by Amundsen.

The Scott-Amundsen Research Station is established.

Arved Fuchs and Reinhold Messner succeed in first trans-Antarctic crossing unsupported.

The South Pole Allied Challenge

Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and driest place on earth.

Antarctica has no native population or permanent residents, but there are a number of researchers and explorers who stay for extended periods.

The South Pole has a desert climate, almost never receiving any precipitation. Air humidity is near zero. However, high winds can cause the blowing of snowfall, and the accumulation of snow amounts to about 20 cm per year.

It almost never gets above 0° C in Antarctica and the highest recorded temperature at the South Pole is 7° F or -13.8° C.

The world’s lowest temperature of -128° F was recorded at the Russia Vostok Station in Antarctica.

The continental ice sheet of Antarctica contains about 7 million miles of ice, 90% of the world’s total.

Only 2% of Antarctica’s land is not covered in ice.

An extensive history of Antarctica can be found at