|Federated States of Antarctica|
"Superstes Per Laborem"
(Survival Through Hardships)
and largest city
|Official languages||English (de facto)|
|Recognised regional languages||French, Spanish|
|Government||Federal Presidential Republic|
|House of Councillors|
|House of Representatives|
|14,000,000 km2 (5,400,000 sq mi)|
• 2015 estimate
• 2015 census
|10.3/km2 (26.7/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Antarctican Dollar (ANT)|
|Time zone||(UTC-3 to +12)|
|Drives on the||left|
Antarctica is one of the world's largest exporters of Oil and Minerals. The discovery and ability to extract Antarctica's mineral wealth has been crucial to the country's survival, having to import much of its resources, and has led to country's economic boom during the 19th and 20th centuries. Antarctica is one of the world's harshest countries to live in due to the extreme cold all year round. Summer months in the coastal regions where the entirety of the population resides can experience summers with above freezing temperatures. 97% of the country is completely uninhabitable, with the 3% of the habitable land located in the coastal regions of the continent. Antarctica's economy most revolves around the continent's Mineral Wealth, Scientific Research and Tourism. Antarctica has been ranked one of the least affected states worldwide by the 2008 Financial Crisis through its government's informed economic decisions and the significant amount of state ownership of the Antarctican economy.
Antarctica is a Federation of Five States and One Unincorporated Territory. The President is both the Head of State and Government, who leads the executive branch of the Federal Government. The Parliament of Antarctica acts as the bicameral Federal legislative body consisting of the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives. The President is indirectly elected every five years in the General Election through the lower house of Parliament. The party, or coalition, with the most seats in the House of Representatives has their leader of Presidential candidate elected as the President. The current President of Antarctica is Joseph Eriksson of the Progressive Party.
The de facto national language of Antarctica is English, which is the most widely spoken language across the country. Other major official spoken languages across Antarctica at a state level include French, Spanish and Russian. Other minor languages include Norwegian and German. Antarctica is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and holds close ties with the English-speaking world. Antarctica is a culturally diverse nation, consisting of citizens from various backgrounds the majority of which are of Western European ancestry from the original Antarctic settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since then, Antarctica has become a major base for Scientific and Archaeological research as it holds huge amounts of key evidence as to how the Earth was formed and was like before human habitation.
The name Antarctica is the romanized version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική (antarktiké), feminine of ἀνταρκτικός (antarktikos), meaning "opposite to the Arctic." The first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew.
The official state name for Antarctica, is the Federated States of Antarctica in English. It is also called États Fédérés de l'Antarctique in French and Estados Federados de la Antártida in Spanish. The common name is Antarctica in English, Antarctique in French, and Antártida in Spanish. Additionally, in Norwegian it is known as Antarktis.
DiscoveryAntarctica has no indigenous population and there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. However, belief in the existence of a Terra Australis, a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe, Asia and North Africa, had existed since the times of Ptolemy, who suggested the idea to preserve the symmetry of all known landmasses in the world. Even in the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled 'Antarctica', geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size.
European maps continued to show this hypothesized land until Captain James Cook's ships, HMS Resolution and Adventure, crossed the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773, in December 1773 and again in January 1774. Cook came within about 75 miles of the Antarctic coast before retreating in the face of field ice in January 1773.
The first confirmed sighting of Antarctica can be narrowed down to the crews of ships captained by three individuals in 1820, Von Bellinghausen of the Imperial Russian Navy, Edward Bransfield of the Royal Navy and Nathaniel Palmer a Sealer. However the first confirmed landing on continental Antarctica did not occur until 1895 at Cape Adair however landings on small islands and surrounding islets had occured since the 1840's. On 22 January 1840, two days after the discovery of the coast west of the Balleny Islands, some members of the crew of the 1837 to 1840 expedition of Jules Dumont d'Urville disembarked on the highest islet of a group of rocky islands about 4 km from Cape Géodésie on the coast of Adélia where they took some mineral, algae and animal samples.
Explorer James Clark Ross passed through what is now known as the Ross Sea and discovered Ross Island (both of which were named for him) in 1841. He sailed along a huge wall of ice that was later named the Ross Ice Shelf. Mount Erebus and Mount Terror are named after two ships from his expedition: HMS Erebus and Terror. Mercator Cooper landed in East Antarctica on 26 January 1853.
During the Nimrod Expedition led by Ernest Shackleton in 1907, parties led by Edgeworth David became the first to climb Mount Erebus and to reach the South Magnetic Pole. Douglas Mawson, who assumed the leadership of the Magnetic Pole party on their perilous return, went on to lead several expeditions until retiring in 1931. In addition, Shackleton himself and three other members of his expedition made several firsts in December 1908 to February 1909, they were the first humans to traverse the Ross Ice Shelf, the first to traverse the Transantarctic Mountains, and the first to set foot on the South Polar Plateau. An expedition led by Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen from the ship Fram became the first to reach the geographic South Pole on 14 December 1911, using a route from the Bay of Whales and up the Axel Heiberg Glacier. One month later, the doomed Scott Expedition reached the pole.
During the initial Age of Discovery of Antarctica, many colonies were founded along the coastal areas, which mainly focused on Whaling and Sealing activities during the 1870's, alongside many others which were set up to assist ships reaching Antarctica. However the colonisation of Antarctica grew rapidly in popularity upon the discovery Antarctic mineral reserves in the early 20th century with the first expedition to tap these reserves in 1885 with the establishment of colonies in what is now known as the state of Adélia by Gaulish expiditionaries the town of Urville was named after Gaulish expiditionary who first disocvered the region in 1843.
Throughout the period of 1890's to 1910 many other settlements were established with the rush to discover and exploit Antarctic Coal which were becoming more and more crucial for the industrial development of Europe after much of Europe's own coal reserves had become depleted following the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The notable Albish and Gaulish colonies such as Amundsen and Urville were later joined by Norwegian, Russian and Spanish colonies such as Santa Maria. During the 20th century these colonies and mines became more industrialised and experienced an influx of workers from across the world. These settlements relied on the exports of minerals and oil in exchange for vital resources needed to sustain the populace. This began Antarctica's reliance on its industries of Fishing and Mining during the 1920's.
Justice and Law Enforcement
See Main: States of Antarctica
Antarctica is a federation composed of a permanant union of five states and one unicorporated territory. In turn these may be grouped into two regions, East Antarctica and West Antarctica. The states of Antarctica have nominal self-governance and determination however due to Antarctica's small population and population density the Antarctican Central government has a considerable amount of power over the states' domestic affairs. Antarctica's single unicorporated territory, known as the South Pole is a de facto territory of Antarctica despite having no permanent population or governance of any kind.
|States of Antarctica|
Flora and Fauna
See Main: Wildlife of AntarcticaVery few terrestrial vertebrates live in Antarctica. Invertebrate life includes microscopic mites like the Alaskozetes Antarcticus, lice, nematodes, tardigrades, rotifers, krill and springtails. The flightless midge Belgica Antarctica is the largest purely terrestrial animal in Antarctica.
Varieties of marine animals exist and rely, directly or indirectly, on the phytoplankton. Antarctic sea life includes Penguins, Blue whales, Orcas, Colossal squids and Fur Seals. The emperor penguin is the only penguin that breeds during the winter in Antarctica, while the Adélia penguin breeds farther south than any other penguin. The rockhopper penguin has distinctive feathers around the eyes, giving the appearance of elaborate eyelashes. King penguins, chinstrap penguins, and gentoo penguins also breed in the Antarctic. The Emporer Penguin is the National Animal of Antarctica and is common national symbol featured in the Federal Emblem.
The climate of Antarctica does not allow extensive vegetation to form. A combination of freezing temperatures, poor soil quality, lack of moisture, and lack of sunlight inhibit plant growth. As a result, the diversity of plant life is very low and limited in distribution. The flora of the continent largely consists of bryophytes. There are about 100 species of mosses and 25 species of liverworts, but only two species of flowering plants, both of which are found in the Antarctic Peninsula: Antarctic hair grass and Colobanthus Antarctic pearlwort. Growth is restricted to a few weeks in the summer.
Concerns over the welfare and protection of Antarctic wildlife due to both the reduction in the amount of Sea ice which many species use extensively to collect food and the Mining activity carried out in Antarctica which is crucial to the economy has led to the Antarctic Conservation Act (1972) which prohibited the increase in mining activites outside of already developed areas and the dedication to the protection of Antarctica's natural wildlife through conservation projects carried out in conjunction with the global community.