What Are The Countries And Capitals Of Antarctica?


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Michelle Barber Profile
Michelle Barber answered
Technically, there are no countries or capitals of Antarctica as it is considered to be a politically-neutral territory, however, a number of countries have claimed sovereignty in some regions, although the validity of these claims is not generally recognised by the international community.

The countries who have made territorial claims are:

1908 - UK - British Antarctic Territory
1923 - New Zealand - Ross Dependency
1924 - France - Adelie Land
1929 - Norway - Peter I Island
1933 - Australia - Australian Antarctic Territory
1939 - Norway - Queen Maud Land
1940 - Chile - Antartica
1943 - Argentina - Argentine Antarctica

Antarctica has no permanent residents, but some governments maintain permanent manned research stations and the “population” of Antarctica varies from around 1,000 during winter to about 5,000 in the summer months.  The Russian Bellingshausen Station boasts an Orthodox Church which opened in 2004 and is manned year-round by one or two priests, who rotate each year.

Antarctica is the southernmost of the world’s seven continents and located in the southern hemisphere and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. It is the fifth largest, covering 14million square kilometres (5.4million square miles) and around 98% of it is covered by ice, which averages 1.6 km (1 mile) in thickness.

In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty, designating that the territory a scientific preserve and banning military activity, was drawn up and signed by 12 countries.  To date, 47 countries have signed the treaty.  The treaty prohibits mineral mining, nuclear power or explosions  and supports scientific research of over 4,000 scientists.

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