8 Facts About Antarctica

1. East Antarctica makes up two-thirds of the continent, and is about the size of Australia.

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2. East Antarctica is geologically varied, dating from the Precambrian era, with some rocks formed more than 3 billion years ago.

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3. The only anomalous area of West Antarctica is the Ellsworth Mountains region, where the stratigraphy is more similar to East Antarctica.

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4. The most common rocks in West Antarctica are andesite and rhyolite volcanics formed during the Jurassic period.

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5. The first documented landing on Antarctica was by the American sealer John Davis, apparently at Hughes Bay, near Cape Charles, in West Antarctica on 7 February 1821, although some historians dispute this claim.

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6. Some of Antarctica has been warming up; particularly strong warming has been noted on the Antarctic Peninsula.

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7. East Antarctica is colder than its western counterpart because of its higher elevation.

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8. East Antarctica is largely covered by the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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