By Ashraf Naushahi

There are seven continents on the planet Earth: Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica. Antarctica is very different from other continents as 98% of its area is covered by ice. Antarctica is a continent of ice and naturally its climate and weather are very cold, making it the coldest continent on the Earth.

Antarctica is not only the coldest but also the wildest and driest continent. It is interesting that Antarctica is an icy desert. The icy layer in Antarctica is about 1 mile or 1.6 kilometer thick in average. More than 70 lakes of frozen water or ice are discovered in the continent. Lake Vostok is the largest of these lakes. Its frozen surface is similar to the surface of Europa, one of the moons of planet Jupiter. 

Antarctica was discovered in 1820 by an expedition and many other expeditions also went there but its discovery was neglected for a long period. The reason of its neglect was environment of the continent which was very cold and dry. Even scientists could not go there for working on their scientific discoveries. Then in the 20th century some science stations were made in Antarctica for starting scientific works there.

With many other important and useful discoveries scientists have also observed that ice is melting faster than before in Antarctica because of global warming and humans on the Earth should take care a little more for a better natural environment on this planet.

Published in Young Nation magazine on July 23, 2016