South Pole Facts: What Is It Like Where No Human Lives? | Kidadl


South Pole Facts: What Is It Like Where No Human Lives?

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The South Pole, located in Antarctica, is also known as the Geographic South Pole, Terrestrial South Pole, or 90th Parallel South.

It is the point of intersection of the Earth’s surface and the Earth’s axis of rotation. It is located on the southernmost point of the earth and lies on the opposite side of the north pole at a distance of 12430 mi (20004.14 km) in all directions.

It is easy for us (humans) to get comfortable with an average temperature of 68 F (20 C). Most people can't stand temperatures below zero. You know how it feels when you touch your car door on a really frosty day; it's shocking, right? But why is that door colder than the air? Let us get to know more about the South Pole here.


The South Pole has a broad geographic background. The geographic South Pole is located on the continent of Antarctica. East Antarctica is located at 90 degrees east, but there are no permanent research stations built here because it's covered with ice, making it difficult to access.

The south pole is generally referred to as the point where the Earth’s axis of rotation intersects its surface. However, the geographic coordinates of the South Pole are given as 90 degrees S. In terms of longitude, it is given as 0 degrees. 

All the directions on the South Pole point towards the north. Clockwise, the direction points towards east and anticlockwise towards west, opposite to that of the north pole.

The South Pole is located in Antarctica, one of the seven continents of the world. It is at the top of an icy and barren plateau above sea level and is located far from the Bay of Whales. 

However, the ice sheet has been moving at the rate of 32.9 ft (10 m) per year towards the Weddell sea. Due to this, other artificial features of the pole also gradually shift with time.


The South Pole has a very harsh climate. The South Pole is a cold, dry, windy place. The average winter temperature of the South Pole is -76 F (-60 C), and in summer it can get as warm as 86 F (30 C ). In fact, for over a month each year, the Sun doesn't even rise at all!

The South pole receives no sunlight during winter from March to September. It is completely dark from May 11 to August 1. However, in the summer season from September to March, the sun shines continuously above the horizon. However, the maximum temperature does not exceed 74.3 F (23.5 C) in December, which decreases to -14.62 F (-25.9 C) in January. As the sun gets lower, the temperature drops to -67 F (-55 C) in the month of March. The average temperature remains steady at around -76 F (-60 C) in winter.

Most of the sunlight reaching the surface of the South Pole is reflected by the white snow. The high altitude along with the lack of proper sunlight has made the climate of the South Pole one of the coldest on earth.

The South Pole is believed to have an ice-cap climate. The place is no less than a desert, having very little precipitation. High winds sometimes lead to snowfall.

There are no permanent structures at the geographic South Pole.

Day & Night

The South Pole experiences both day and night. It is summertime right now so it has been light since December 1, 2011, and it will be light until January 19, 2012.

During summer, the sky is never dark. The sun is visible 24 hours a day. However, the warmth of the sun is not that much.

The opposite occurs in the winter months. There are long nights and darkness as well. The average temperature drops to -76 F (-60 C).

Here the sun rises and sets only once per year. There is no or very little precipitation. Air humidity is zero.

Flora & Fauna

Due to the uneven climate of the South Pole, no residents, plants, or animals are found here. The only species of plants that grow in this environment are lichens and algae. There are no trees or bushes on the cold continent of Antarctica to provide fresh water for animals or humans, but there are a few different types of penguins, seals, and whales that call this frozen planet their home.

The entire continent of Antarctica has an unknown amount of undiscovered natural resources.

The southern continent, however, is almost entirely covered by water, so there aren't many trees or other plant life.

There is grass and moss in Antarctica, but no flowers. Since there are no bees or butterflies to transfer pollen from one plant to another, the only way a plant can reproduce is by scattering its seeds when it blooms.

For example, when a penguin eats a berry and then poops out the seed at some other place, the seed can grow there.

There are hardly any land animals living in Antarctica. The only ones are some species of mites, midges, lice, flies, and spiders. They eat dead skin flakes of penguins and other marine animals and plants.

South pole skuas and snow petrels are occasionally seen to be roaming around.

The existence of some microbes in the South Pole ice was reported in the year 2000. There is also evidence of dinosaurs having feathers to protect animals from extreme cold.

Some fossils have also been found in the South Pole millions of years ago.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

The South Pole has the coldest climate in the world. Temperatures can reach as low as -128.5 F (-89.1 C) and winds can blow up to 195 mph (313.82 kph).  Most South Pole facts will be about what it's like there and how it is possible to live there.  The South Pole has one permanent research station and it's the only place where the sun is visible during winter and darkness occurs during summer.

The southern ceremonial pole is a very important place in southern society: it's where they do their ice-breaking and dancing rituals. It is located at the center of the southern point, right beside the southern ocean.

There are no proper time zones in the South Pole because all the time zones meet up at the South Pole. It can be an hour, any minute, and second at the South Pole.

British explorer Robert Falcon Scott was the first person who attempted to find a route from the Antarctic coastline to the South Pole.

On December 14, 1911, Roald Amundsen and his party were the first men to reach the Geographic South Pole.

Earth is filled with 70% of water but that consists of sea and ocean and freshwater seems to be available in the least amount but the south pole has 70% of the world’s freshwater. 

As 98% of Antarctica is covered by the South Pole, Antarctica didn’t use to be the coldest play but warmed like any other city in the world which experiences summer but it was approximately 50 million years before today that the temperature started to the dropdown. 

Doesn’t matter where the person is standing, he/she will be always facing the north direction and the whole of Antarctica gets divided into two parts when the person faces Greenwich.

There is a river that seems like a blood river that flows from Taylor Glacier because the river consists high amount of salt and oxidized iron which starts rusting when it comes in contact with the oxygen which is why the river starts getting visible red. 

There are no plants that can provide oxygen or can be used in foods. The only things the people can find on the name of the plant are Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort. 

When the whole of the area gets freezes and there is only snow and thick ice sheets all over wherever the eyes go, there might be one expectation that if there were fish in the South Pole, they won’t survive but the case is different here. Some of the fishes have ‘Anti-freezing protein’ that lets them stay alive. 

As mentioned above about the extreme weather conditions, the southernmost point of the pole just experiences snow and is covered by ice, there is no river, mountain but just a plateau-type structure all around that makes it a very difficult place to live in. 

People who are very much comfortable in a normal setting won’t be able to adjust over there, most natives of Antarctica are habituated to the atmosphere.

People experience so many variations that it makes it difficult for them to adjust and adapt to the environment.

The South Pole is always on the move as the plate tectonics near the Earth’s crust keep on moving, which makes the South Pole drift 33 ft (10 m) every year. 

The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest reservoir of fresh water on the planet. It holds more than 70% of all freshwater on Earth and represents 90% of the volume of ice in the Antarctic Peninsula.

More than 98% of all Antarctic coast ice mass is represented by the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and only 2% of this ice is out on the glaciers.

West Antarctica is moving much faster than anyone could have imagined. An international group of researchers is working on identifying the causes and the consequences of this movement.

In fact, 80% of all fresh water on Earth is locked up in ice, with around 90% of all freshwater being found in the four polar regions. The problem is melting sea ice, specifically in the Antarctic and Arctic regions.

There is no specific boundary of the territory. Many nations like- New Zealand, the UK, Australia, Chine, Argentina, and France claim that area to be in their territory.

South Pole-crossing arctic ocean expedition team members will start another stage of their adventure on December 2, said the press service of the Russian Geographic Society (RGS).

Currently, the Russian expedition members are in the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The team currently includes 32 people, including 25 Russian citizens and seven foreigners.


How cold is the South Pole?

The South Pole has been recognized as one of the coldest places on earth. The temperature here drops to 21.2 F (–6 C) in the winter.

Can humans live in Antarctica?

It is practically not possible for humans to tolerate the harsh climate of the South Pole, especially in winter. However, many scientists and researchers have lived here during the summers.

Do polar bears live in the South Pole?

No, polar bears prefer to live in the Arctic. However, some species of penguins are found in Antarctica and other parts of the southernmost point hemisphere.

Has anyone gone to the South Pole?

Yes, there were many researchers and explorers who have visited the South Pole.

Is the South Pole a circle?

The South Pole is located on an icy plateau around the Antarctic circle. But the South Pole is not a circle.

Who was the first person to explore the South Pole?

Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, was the first person to explore the South Pole.

What is the hottest temperature ever recorded at the South Pole?

At the South Pole, the hottest temperature ever recorded was 9.86 F (-12.3 C) on December 25, 2011.

Who discovered Antarctica?

Fabian Gottlieb Von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev were the first to discover the land of Antarctica.

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