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Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth. Located around the South Pole, it is surrounded by the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Ross and Weddell Seas. It forms the heart of the Antarctic region, which also includes the emerged parts of the Kerguelen Plateau as well as other island territories of the Antarctic plate.
Map of Antarctica
The continent is surrounded on all sides by water; the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans all meet at Antarctica. The three oceans are collectively called the Southern Ocean. This is the area located south of 50° latitude.
14,107,637 km2 (5,446,989 sq mi) and 280,000 km² (108,109 sq mi) of it is ice-free
Population and settlement
There is no economic activity in Antarctica outside fishing off the coast and small-scale tourism.
Although coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, chromium, nickel, gold and other minerals have been discovered in Antarctica, they are not present in sufficient quantities to enable profitable exploitation. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty of 1991 also limits any activity linked to natural resources. In 1998, an agreement resulted in the ban, for an unlimited period, from exploiting the mineral resources of this continent. This consensus, which will be reviewed in 2048, further limits the development and economic exploitation of the continent.
Political map of Antarctica
Claims of territorial sovereignty
|Flag||Country name||Flag of the territory||Territory||Area|
|Argentina||Argentine Antarctica||965,597 km²|
|Australia||Australian Antarctic Territory||6,119,818km²|
|Chile||Chilean Antarctic Territory||1,250,000 km²|
|France||Adélie Land||432,000 km²|
|New Zealand||Ross Dependency||450,000 km²|
Queen Maud Land
|United Kingdom||British Antarctic||1,950,000 km²|
|Unclaimed territory||Marie Byrd Land||3,426,317 km²|