The Antarctic continent has an area of 14,107,000 km2 (with ice barrier). At its center is the South Pole. It is completely surrounded by the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Ross and Weddell seas.
The portion Antarctica claimed by Argentina, is the one between the meridians of 25 º and 74 º West longitude and latitude of 60 degrees south latitude. This sector is known as Antarctica Argentina.
The ice covering the continent is over 2,000 ms. From this mass of ice is originated moving glaciers into the sea. But these glaciers are not so easily separated from the mainland and they remain in the coast forming an ice shelf, which makes very difficult the access to the interior. They also appear floating ice floes or icebergs or that make navigation dangerous in those areas.
Note that Antarctica is a continent because it has a base instead the Arctic only has got ice. In Antarctica successive snowfalls are joining a layer of ice over 2000 meters thick, and that accumulate toward the coasts and producing glacial landslides and sinking with its weight are the bedrock.
The climate is harsh, with very low temperatures of between -20 and -40 degrees Celsius, and it has reached an absolute minimum of -88.5 °. In winter the sun is not enough to be seen during the day. In the summer the sun is hidden below the horizon. They are the polar night and day. Rainfall is low and it falls as snow in the coastal areas.
Vegetation is scarce because of the weather, and it appears only mosses and lichens, and some algae.
Animal life is developed on the coast and at sea, because they can get the food from the sea.
Among birds we can mention the Emperor penguins, Papua, Adelie and gentoo penguins, albatrosses, petrels, gulls, cormorants and pigeon Antarctic.
Among mammals, there are varieties of seals, elephant seals, sea leopard, whales (blue whale, killer whale, whale teeth and baleen whale).
The first explorations to Antarctica dating from 1774, when the explorer James Cook sighted the South Sandwich Islands.
Argentina, in the area of the sector, has settlements as Esperanza Base and Marambio Base.
Now we leave you enjoying these amazing pictures taken from the National Geographic web site.