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On This Day in History: The South Pole Was Discovered

On This Day in History: The South Pole Was Discovered

On this day in 1911, explorer Roald Amundsen discovered the South Pole.

On December 14, 1911, Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his team were the first to set foot in the South Pole.  While the South Pole’s existence was known, the inhospitable landscape had proven impenetrable until Amundsen’s party trekked across ice and snow to make history as the first to ever explore the South Pole.

  • In honor of this major scientific event, let’s all learn more about the South Pole with these interesting facts:
  • Due to the South Pole’s unique position, it experiences only one sunset and one sunrise per year. Both events take days for the sun to fully rise or set below the horizon.
  • Because Antarctica lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons there are the opposite of seasons in the north — summer runs from October to February and winter covers the remainder of the year.
  • The South Pole’s research facility is busy during the short summer season. However, only 50 remain at the facility between mid-February and November.  During these winter months, this crew of 50 must survive without outside support as extreme temperatures will freeze aircraft fuels and hydraulic fuel, making assistance impossible.
  • Experts believe that Antarctica contains 90 percent of the planet’s ice.
  • Though the ice would seem to indicate otherwise, Antarctica is technically classified as a desert due to the low quantities of moisture released from the sky.
  • There are no trees or bushes in Antarctica, just moss-like vegetation. Likewise, no non-native species are allowed to be taken there. But penguins, whales, and seals live in and around the area
  • Antarctica is the coldest continent; temperatures in the winter can drop below –73°C (-100°F).
  • About 70% of Earth’s fresh water is in the Antarctic ice cap.
  • There are no countries in Antarctica; the continent is governed by an international treaty (the Antarctic Treaty).

We at the at The Maria Sanchez Show invite you to join us as we learn more about the South Pole on the anniversary of its exploration.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.


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