Antarctic continent

the continent surrounding the South Pole: almost entirely covered by an ice sheet. About 5,000,000 sq. mi. (12,950,000 sq. km).
Historical Examples

Wilkes was the first to discover the so-called mainland of the Antarctic Continent, in January, 1840.
Wealth of the World’s Waste Places and Oceania
Jewett Castello Gilson

He had not perfectly proved the impossibility of an Antarctic Continent.
Celebrated Travels and Travellers Jules Verne

At this time Cook had not yet proved the non-existence of an Antarctic Continent.
Celebrated Travels and Travellers Jules Verne

The non-existence of an Antarctic Continent was definitely ascertained.
Celebrated Travels and Travellers Jules Verne

For example, in 1902 there were collected the first fossils ever found on the Antarctic Continent.
The Elements of Geology William Harmon Norton

Henceforth Australasia was left to its own fate, but for a possible connection with the Antarctic Continent.
Darwin and Modern Science A.C. Seward and Others

A part of this fresh water is also acquired by the sea in the form of icebergs from the Antarctic Continent.
The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2 Roald Amundsen

a continent around the South Pole: consists of an ice-covered plateau, 1800–3000 m (6000 ft to 10 000 ft) above sea level, and mountain ranges rising to 4500 m (15 000 ft) with some volcanic peaks; average temperatures all below freezing and human settlement is confined to research stations. All political claims to the mainland are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty of 1959

continent name attributed to Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew (1860-1920), who used it on a map published 1887. From antarctic (q.v.). Hypothetical southern continents had been imagined since antiquity; first sighting of Antarctica by Europeans probably was 1820 (Lazarev and Bellingshausen). Also cf. Antipodes.

Continent surrounding the South Pole, located almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle. It is covered by an ice cap up to thirteen thousand feet thick.

Note: Antarctica is characterized by extremely low temperatures.

Note: In 1911, Roald Amundsen became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, followed shortly thereafter by Robert Scott.


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  • Antarctic ocean

    the waters surrounding Antarctica, comprising the southernmost parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. Historical Examples His explorations in the Antarctic Ocean showed a hardihood and determination seldom surpassed. Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston Some geologists said this accounted for the greater depth of the Antarctic Ocean. The Moon Metal Garrett P. Serviss This awful […]

  • Antarctic peninsula

    a peninsula in Antarctica, S of South America. noun the largest peninsula of Antarctica, between the Weddell Sea and the Pacific: consists of Graham Land in the north and the Palmer Peninsula in the south Former name (until 1964) Palmer Peninsula

  • Antarctic plate

    a major tectonic division of the earth’s crust, comprising Antarctica and adjacent ocean basins (the South Indian, Southeast Pacific, and Atlantic-Indian basins) and bounded on the north by the Nazca, South American, African, Indo-Australian, and Pacific plates.

  • Antarctic zone

    the section of the earth’s surface lying between the Antarctic Circle and the South Pole.

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