Myths about the Antarctic

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In the list of places to visit in the world there is one location that many would love to go to but likely don’t even put it on their bucket list because it is so difficult to get there. That place is the Antarctic. It has been the stuff of legend for a long time with various myths taking center stage of the last decades. Today we would like to review some of these myths and shed a little more light on this frozen paradise.

One of the most interesting myths about the Antarctic is related to world war two. Although the continent is completely isolated from the rest of the world a rumor was started many years ago that the Nazis had put a secret base there. This was part of a larger rumor that the Nazis had secret bases all over the world.

We are unaware over where the Nazis had secret bases but we are happy to rule out the Antarctic. Colin Summerhayes even went to far as to write a paper on the subject to make sure the myth was killed once and for all. While the Nazis never had a base there though they did send a research vessel all the way there once, why? We have no idea!

If you look at some maps of the Antarctic you would think that it is absolutely massive. It is big. It is the fifth biggest continent in the world. However, it is not as big as most maps suggest. Antarctica is bigger than Europe and Australia but smaller than Africa, Asia, South America, and North America. However, because the world is a sphere and many maps are rectangular the continent can often look a little stretched at the bottom of a map. You will have already noticed that I have switched between the terms Antarctic and Antarctica in this article. They are not actually the same thing. The Antarctic is a region that includes the continent of Antarctica, the Kerguelen Plateau, and some other islands in the area.

Many people believe that the Antarctic is not inhabited by any people. That is not strictly true. There are a number of research bases there and people live there temporarily all year round. You will likely never be the only person on the Antarctic if you visit but you would be one of a small few. However, it is true that there has been no native population on the continent and no permanent settlers. This is for obvious reasons, it is too cold.

However, it is not as cold as many think. Some people think the continent is the coldest place on Earth all year round. However, during summer months there can be long periods of daylight with temperatures between -2 and 8 degrees celsius. Of course, it is a very cold place and the coldest temperature ever was recorded there. A whopping -89.4 degrees celsius. Brrr.

Some people believe they can never travel to the Antarctic and refuse to put it on the bucket list because they believe that normal visitors are banned or that it is too expensive. While the continent is used by researchers and scientists and there are some rules to obey if you go there, you are allowed to visit. There are cruises that leave from New Zealand or South America that cost about $10,000 per person. So while it is incredibly expensive it is still a possible bucket list item. 

The Antarctic is clearly a misunderstood continent that deserves a lot more love. It is home to one of the most unique habitats in the world with some incredible wildlife there. If you have a spare $10,000 we highly recommend a visit.