Saturday, December 15, 2012

Random Questions: Do people live in Antarctica? What is life like there?

According to a 2001 report from USA Today, there are between 1,000 and 8,000 people on Antarctica at any given time.  The number swells to around 8,000 people during the winter, and drops to about 1,000 for the other three seasons.  There are no cities, as we think of them, but rather people live on stations sponsored by country governments.  The U.S.'s McMurdy Station is the largest station on Antarctica, home to around 1,000 during the peak summer months.

Lonely Planet has more.  There has never been a native population in Antarctica, including today, since the current workers are only temporary residents.  As such, wildlife is still unafraid of people, which sounds pretty amazing.
Well-behaved visitors usually elicit no more than disinterested yawns from seals and penguins focused on rearing their young and evading predators.
Antarctica is governed by an international agreement, the Antarctic Treaty, signed by 46 countries, including the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK.  It is one of the few places on the plant where there has never been a war.

Landing a job there is quite difficult, according to Lonely Planet:
Antarctic workers must submit to a battery of physical and psychological tests – and most important, must possess advanced skills in one or probably several areas. 
One can apply to jobs through the several governments that conduct research there or through a private contractor.  About 600 people are employed in the service sector in jobs ranging from chefs to clerks to hair stylists and physicians, as well as in the trades and construction.

It is possible, though expensive, to visit Antarctica.  In fact, tourism is, by far, the continent's largest industry.  Most visitors arrive by sea, on cruise ships from Ushuaia, Argentina (the capital of Tierra del Fuego).  The cruise ships allow passengers to disembark and wander around landing sites.  Some wealthy people take private yachts.  You can also fly to the interior of Antarctica and take part in a tourism expedition, which might involve penguin watching or cross-country skiilng.  As of a few years ago, these trips cost in the range of $35,000-$60,000/person.

4 comments:

  1. I do think that having several antarctica trips would help you answer those questions yourself. :)

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  2. this was so gay and un useful... RETARDS

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    Replies
    1. that was so harsh and horrible..................... NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahhahahahahahhahah

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