What Is Life Like in Antarctica? 

The Argentinian Esperanza Base is one of only two civilian settlements in Antarctica. It has a church, a school, and even a Scout Troop.

Imagine you have a cup of water. You go outside. You try to pour it out. But the water turns to ice before it even hits the ground. That is how cold it is most of the time in Antarctica.  

Antarctica is the coldest continent in the world and the farthest south.

Antarctica is the world’s southernmost continent. Ninety eight percent of Antarctica is covered in ice. The average temperature is -30 °F. It is the only continent that does not have an Indigenous population (people that lived in an area before the arrival of settlers or colonists).  Nobody lives there permanently. Some people do live there for periods of just over a year. In the summer, the population of Antarctica can reach 5,000 people. In the winter, there are usually only 1,000 people.  

Many challenges come with living in such a cold, faraway place. Because the land is covered in ice, big ships can only arrive during the summer. When people need something, they can’t just order it online. Once a year, they get supplies such as toilet paper, frozen foods, and fuel.  

People come to Antarctica to do scientific research at places like the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory.

If it’s so challenging to live there, what brings people to Antarctica? Many countries send scientists to Antarctica to live on research stations. They can learn about Earth from studying the rocks of Antarctica. Antarctica is also a great place to find meteorites. Because it is remote, it is the best place in the world for astronomy. Scientists also study invisible particles called neutrinos there. While they can’t see them, they can see their effects on the ice.  

So, Antarctica is mostly filled with scientists and people who support them. There are also some children in Antarctica. There are a few research stations with schools. One even has a scout troop! 

What Do You Think?  Imagine you lived in Antarctica. What would your life be like?   

Photo Credits: Top: JanRoode/iStock/Getty Images; Bottom: Jeff Warneck/Shutterstock