STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A Russian Ice Breaker ship wedged into the front or leading edge of the Antarctic McMurdo Ice Shelf. That is McMurdo Scientific Base off in the distance. Antarctica is the driest, windiest, coldest place on Earth. It is colder than the Arctic. The area south of the Antarctic circle encompasses Antarctica. Only cold-adapted flora and fauna survive in Antarctica. The entire continent is covered with a thick layer of ice. But underneath it is volcanically hot and active. Because of the extreme southerly latitude there are long periods of daylight then darkness. The ice is hundreds and even thousands of feet thick in places covering Antarctica. The McMurdo ice shelf is growing and has been intact the last five years.
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