Antarctica is the fifth largest continent by land area and surrounds the south pole with most of it's land mass covered in thick sheets of ice. The continent lies almost entirely below the Antarctic Circle and is encompassed by the Southern Ocean.
The climate is one of the most extreme in the world, with a record low temperature of -129 degrees F (-89 degrees C). It is also the coldest, windiest continent, experiences very little precipitation (less than 8 inches a year which classifies it as a desert,) and has the highest average elevation due to the many elevated geographic features inside it's borders.
Due to the extreme climate, no human holds permanent residence in Antarctica. Throughout the years, the continent was only visited by adventurous explorers and research scientists. The Antarctic treaty has 47 participating countries and is an agreement that the continent will not be used for military, natural resource development, and nuclear power experiments, as well as focusing on harboring scientific research and protecting the local ecosystem.
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