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The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole, Terrestrial South Pole or 90th Parallel South, is one of the two points where Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on Earth and lies on the opposite side of Earth from the
North Pole Sea ice in 2006 as observed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration North Pole Web Cam, part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is ...
. Situated on the continent of
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of . At 0.00 ...

Antarctica
, it is the site of the United States
Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is the at the of the . It is the under the (not ) of the . The station is on the high of at 2,835 metres (9,301 feet) above . It is administered by the Division of Polar Programs of the , specific ...
, which was established in 1956 and has been permanently staffed since that year. The Geographic South Pole is distinct from the
South Magnetic Pole#REDIRECT South magnetic pole The south magnetic pole is the point on Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent ...
, the position of which is defined based on Earth's
magnetic field A magnetic field is a vector field In vector calculus and physics, a vector field is an assignment of a vector to each point in a subset of space. For instance, a vector field in the plane can be visualised as a collection of arrows with ...

magnetic field
. The South Pole is at the centre of the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
.


Geography

For most purposes, the Geographic South Pole is defined as the southern point of the two points where Earth's
axis of rotation Rotation around a fixed axis is a special case of rotation A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotati ...
intersects its surface (the other being the
Geographic North Pole Sea ice in 2006 as observed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration North Pole Web Cam, part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is ...
). However, Earth's axis of rotation is actually subject to very small "wobbles" (
polar motion Polar motion of the Earth is the motion of the Earth's rotational axis relative to its crust. This is measured with respect to a reference frame in which the solid Earth is fixed (a so-called ''Earth-centered, Earth-fixed'' or ECEF ECEF (ac ...

polar motion
), so this definition is not adequate for very precise work. The
geographic coordinate A geographic coordinate system (GCS) is a coordinate system associated with position (geometry), positions on Earth (geographic position). A GCS can give positions: *as Geodetic coordinates, spherical coordinate system using latitude, long ...
s of the South Pole are usually given simply as 90°S, since its longitude is geometrically undefined and irrelevant. When a longitude is desired, it may be given as At the South Pole, all directions face north. For this reason, directions at the Pole are given relative to "grid north", which points northward along the
prime meridian #REDIRECT Prime meridian#REDIRECT Prime meridian A prime meridian is the meridian (geography), meridian (a line of longitude) in a geographic coordinate system at which longitude is defined to be 0°. Together, a prime meridian and its anti-meri ...
. Along tight latitude circles, clockwise is east, and anti-clockwise is west, opposite to the
North Pole Sea ice in 2006 as observed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration North Pole Web Cam, part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is ...
. The Geographic South Pole is presently located on the continent of
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of . At 0.00 ...

Antarctica
, although this has not been the case for all of Earth's history because of
continental drift Continental drift is the hypothesis that the Earth's continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly reg ...
. It sits atop a featureless, barren, windswept and icy plateau at an altitude of above sea level, and is located about from the nearest open sea at the
Bay of Whales The Bay of Whales was a natural ice harbour, or iceport, indenting the front of the Ross Ice Shelf just north of Roosevelt Island, Antarctica, Roosevelt Island, Antarctica. It is the southernmost point of open ocean not only of the Ross Sea, bu ...
. The ice is estimated to be about thick at the Pole, so the land surface under the
ice sheet In , an ice sheet, also known as a continental glacier, is a mass of that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than . The only current ice sheets are in and ; during the at (LGM) the covered much of , the ice sheet covered and the c ...

ice sheet
is actually near sea level.Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station
National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs
The polar ice sheet is moving at a rate of roughly per year in a direction between 37° and 40° west of grid north, down towards the
Weddell Sea The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. ...
. Therefore, the position of the station and other artificial features relative to the geographic pole gradually shift over time. The Geographic South Pole is marked by a stake in the ice alongside a small sign; these are repositioned each year in a ceremony on
New Year's Day New Year's Day is a festival observed in most of the world on 1 January, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modi ...

New Year's Day
to compensate for the movement of the ice."Marker makes annual move"
page 6, Antarctic Sun. 8 January 2006; McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
The sign records the respective dates that
Roald Amundsen Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen (, ; ; 16 July 1872 – ) was a Norwegian explorer of polar regions. He was a key figure of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Born in Borge, Østfold, Norway, Amundsen began ...

Roald Amundsen
and Robert F. Scott reached the Pole, followed by a short quotation from each man, and gives the elevation as "9,301 ''FT.''". A new marker stake is designed and fabricated each year by staff at the site.


Ceremonial South Pole

The Ceremonial South Pole is an area set aside for photo opportunities at the
South Pole Station South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
. It is located some meters from the Geographic South Pole, and consists of a metallic sphere on a short barber pole, surrounded by the flags of the original
Antarctic Treaty russian: link=no, Договор об Антарктике es, link=no, Tratado Antártico , name = Antarctic Treaty System , image = Flag of the Antarctic Treaty.svgborder , image_width = 180px , caption ...

Antarctic Treaty
signatory
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
.


Historic monuments


Amundsen's Tent

The tent was erected by the Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen on its arrival on 14 December 1911. It is currently buried beneath the snow and ice in the vicinity of the Pole. It has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 80), following a proposal by Norway to the
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting russian: link=no, Договор об Антарктике es, link=no, Tratado Antártico , name = Antarctic Treaty System , image = Flag of the Antarctic Treaty.svgborder , image_width = 180px , caption ...
. The precise location of the tent is unknown, but based on calculations of the rate of movement of the ice and the accumulation of snow, it is believed, as of 2010, to lie between 1.8 and 2.5 km (1.1 and 1.5 miles) from the Pole at a depth of 17 m (56 ft) below the present surface.


Argentine Flagpole

A
flagpole A flag is a piece of fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral A quadrilateral is a polygon in Euclidean geometry, Euclidean plane geometry with four Edge (geometry), edges (sides) and four Vertex (geometry), vertices (corners). Other ...
erected at the South Geographical Pole in December 1965 by the First Argentine Overland Polar Expedition has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 1) following a proposal by Argentina to the
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting russian: link=no, Договор об Антарктике es, link=no, Tratado Antártico , name = Antarctic Treaty System , image = Flag of the Antarctic Treaty.svgborder , image_width = 180px , caption ...
.


Exploration


Pre-1900

In 1820, several expeditions claimed to have been the first to have sighted Antarctica, with the first being the Russian expedition led by
Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (russian: Фадде́й Фадде́евич Беллинсга́узен, translit=Faddéj Faddéevič Bellinsgáuzen; – ) was a Russian Empire, Russian naval officer, cartographer and explorer, ...

Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen
and
Mikhail Lazarev Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations and the United States, a "full" admiral is equivalent to a "full" general officer, ...
. The first landing was probably just over a year later when American captain John Davis, a sealer, set foot on the ice. The basic geography of the Antarctic coastline was not understood until the mid-to-late 19th century. American naval officer
Charles Wilkes Charles Wilkes (April 3, 1798 – February 8, 1877) was an American naval officer, ship's captain, and explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery ...
claimed (correctly) that Antarctica was a new continent, basing the claim on his exploration in 1839–40, while
James Clark Ross Sir James Clark Ross (15 April 1800 – 3 April 1862) was a British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval p ...

James Clark Ross
, in his expedition of 1839–1843, hoped that he might be able to sail all the way to the South Pole. (He was unsuccessful.)


1900–1950

British explorer
Robert Falcon Scott Captain Robert Falcon Scott (6 June 1868 – c. 29 March 1912) was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, ''Discovery'' expedition of 1901–1904 and the ill-fated Te ...
on the ''Discovery'' Expedition of 1901–1904 was the first to attempt to find a route from the Antarctic coastline to the South Pole. Scott, accompanied by
Ernest Shackleton Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of An ...

Ernest Shackleton
and Edward Wilson, set out with the aim of travelling as far south as possible, and on 31 December 1902, reached 82°16′ S. Shackleton later returned to Antarctica as leader of the British Antarctic Expedition () in a bid to reach the Pole. On 9 January 1909, with three companions, he reached 88°23' S – from the Pole – before being forced to turn back. The first men to reach the Geographic South Pole were the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his party on 14 December 1911. Amundsen named his camp Polheim and the entire plateau surrounding the Pole King Haakon VII Vidde in honour of King
Haakon VII of Norway Haakon VII (; born Prince Carl of Denmark; 3 August 187221 September 1957) was the King of Norway The Norwegian monarch is the of , which is a and with a . The Norwegian monarchy can trace its line back to the reign of and the previou ...
. Robert Falcon Scott returned to Antarctica with his second expedition, the ''Terra Nova'' Expedition, initially unaware of Amundsen's secretive expedition. Scott and four other men reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, thirty-four days after Amundsen. On the return trip, Scott and his four companions all died of starvation and extreme cold. In 1914 Ernest Shackleton's
Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition The Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914–1917 is considered to be the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Conceived by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition was an attempt to make the first land crossing of ...
set out with the goal of crossing Antarctica via the South Pole, but his ship, the ''
Endurance Endurance (also related to sufferance, resilience, constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or o ...
'', was frozen in
pack ice Drift ice, also called brash ice, is sea ice that is not attached to the shoreline or any other fixed object (shoals, grounded icebergs, etc.).Leppäranta, M. 2011. The Drift of Sea Ice. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. Unlike fast ice, which is "fastene ...

pack ice
and sank 11 months later. The overland journey was never made. US Admiral
Richard Evelyn Byrd Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. (October 25, 1888 – March 11, 1957) was an American naval officer and explorer. He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor given by the United States, and was a pioneering Amer ...

Richard Evelyn Byrd
, with the assistance of his first pilot
Bernt Balchen Bernt Balchen (23 October 1899 – 17 October 1973) was a Norwegian pioneer polar region, polar aviator, navigator, aircraft mechanical engineer and military leader. A Norwegian native, he later became an American citizen and was a recipient of ...

Bernt Balchen
, became the first person to fly over the South Pole on 29 November 1929.


1950–present

It was not until 31 October 1956 that humans once again set foot at the South Pole, when a party led by Admiral
George J. Dufek George John Dufek (10 February 1903, Rockford, Illinois Rockford is a U.S. city in Winnebago County, Illinois, located in the far northern Illinois, northern part of the state. Situated on the banks of the Rock River (Illinois), Rock River, Rockf ...
of the US Navy landed there in an R4D-5L Skytrain (
C-47 Skytrain The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota (RAF "Through Adversity to the Stars" , colours = , colours_label = , march = Royal Air Force March Past , mascot ...
) aircraft. The US
Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is the at the of the . It is the under the (not ) of the . The station is on the high of at 2,835 metres (9,301 feet) above . It is administered by the Division of Polar Programs of the , specific ...
was established by air over 1956–1957 for the
International Geophysical Year The International Geophysical Year (IGY; french: Année géophysique internationale) was an international scientific project that lasted from 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific in ...
and has been continuously staffed since then by research and support personnel. After Amundsen and Scott, the next people to reach the South Pole ''overland'' (albeit with some air support) were
Edmund Hillary Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (20 July 1919 – 11 January 2008) was a New Zealand mountaineering, mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropy, philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Sherpa people, Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the ...
(4 January 1958) and
Vivian Fuchs Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs (11 February 1908 – 11 November 1999) was an English explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; i ...
(19 January 1958) and their respective parties, during the
Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) of 1955–1958 was a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains ...
. There have been many subsequent expeditions to arrive at the South Pole by surface transportation, including those by Havola, Crary and
FiennesFiennes or Ffiennes may refer to: Places * Fiennes, Pas-de-Calais, Fiennes, pronounced , a commune in France, commune of the Pas-de-Calais ''département in France, département'' in northern France People A prominent English family (pronounced ) d ...
. The first group of women to reach the pole were Pam Young, Jean Pearson, Lois Jones, Eileen McSaveney, Kay Lindsay and Terry Tickhill in 1969. In 1978–79 Michele Eileen Raney became the first woman to winter at the South Pole. Subsequent to the establishment, in 1987, of the logistic support base at Patriot Hills Base Camp, the South Pole became more accessible to non-government expeditions. On 30 December 1989, Arved Fuchs and
Reinhold Messner Reinhold Andreas Messner () (born 17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer Mountaineering, or alpinism, is the set of outdoor activities Outdoor recreation or outdoor activity refers to recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure ...

Reinhold Messner
were the first to traverse Antarctica via the South Pole without animal or motorized help, using only skis and the help of wind. Two women, Victoria E. Murden and Shirley Metz, reached the pole by land on 17 January 1989. The fastest unsupported journey to the Geographic South Pole from the ocean is 24 days and one hour from
Hercules Inlet Hercules Inlet is a large, narrow, ice-filled inlet which forms a part of the southwestern margin of the Ronne Ice Shelf. It is bounded on the west by the south-eastern flank of the Heritage Range, and on the north by Skytrain Ice Rise. Hercules ...
and was set in 2011 by Norwegian adventurer Christian Eide, who beat the previous solo record set in 2009 by American Todd Carmichael of 39 days and seven hours, and the previous group record also set in 2009 of 33 days and 23 hours. The fastest solo, unsupported and unassisted trek to the south pole by a female was performed by Hannah McKeand from the UK in 2006. She made the journey in 39 days 9hrs 33mins. She started on 19 November 2006 and finished on 28 December 2006. In the 2011–12 summer, separate expeditions by Norwegian Aleksander Gamme and Australians James Castrission and Justin Jones jointly claimed the first unsupported trek without dogs or kites from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole and back. The two expeditions started from
Hercules Inlet Hercules Inlet is a large, narrow, ice-filled inlet which forms a part of the southwestern margin of the Ronne Ice Shelf. It is bounded on the west by the south-eastern flank of the Heritage Range, and on the north by Skytrain Ice Rise. Hercules ...
a day apart, with Gamme starting first, but completing according to plan the last few kilometres together. As Gamme traveled alone he thus simultaneously became the first to complete the task solo. On 28 December 2018, Captain Lou Rudd became the first Briton to cross the Antarctic unassisted via the south pole, and the second person to make the journey in 56 days. On 10 January 2020, Mollie Hughes became the youngest person to ski to the pole, aged 29.


Climate and day and night

During the southern winter (March–September), the South Pole receives no sunlight at all, and from 11 May to 1 August, between extended periods of twilight, it is completely dark (apart from moonlight). In the summer (September–March), the sun is continuously above the horizon and appears to move in a counter-clockwise circle. However, it is always low in the sky, reaching a maximum of 23.5° in December, thanks to the 23.5° tilt of the earth's axis. Much of the sunlight that does reach the surface is reflected by the white snow. This lack of warmth from the sun, combined with the high altitude (about ), means that the South Pole has one of the coldest climates on Earth (though it is not quite the coldest; that record goes to the region in the vicinity of the
Vostok Station Vostok Station (russian: ста́нция Восто́к, translit=stántsiya Vostók, , meaning "Station East") is a Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern E ...
, also in Antarctica, which lies at a higher elevation). The South Pole is at an altitude of but feels like . Centrifugal force from the spin of the planet pulls the atmosphere toward the equator. The South Pole is colder than the
North Pole Sea ice in 2006 as observed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration North Pole Web Cam, part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is ...
primarily because of the elevation difference and for being in the middle of a continent. The North Pole is a few feet from sea level in the middle of an ocean. In midsummer, as the sun reaches its maximum elevation of about 23.5 degrees, high temperatures at the South Pole in January average at . As the six-month "day" wears on and the sun gets lower, temperatures drop as well: they reach around sunset (late March) and sunrise (late September). In midwinter, the average temperature remains steady at around . The highest temperature ever recorded at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station was on Christmas Day, 2011, and the lowest was on 23 June 1982 (for comparison, the lowest temperature directly recorded anywhere on earth was at
Vostok Station Vostok Station (russian: ста́нция Восто́к, translit=stántsiya Vostók, , meaning "Station East") is a Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern E ...
on 21 July 1983, though was measured indirectly by satellite in
East Antarctica Image of a variety of ice types off the coast of East Antarctica. East Antarctica, also called Greater Antarctica, constitutes the majority (two-thirds) of the Antarctica, Antarctic continent, lying on the Indian Ocean side of the continent, se ...
between
Dome A Dome A or Dome Argus is the loftiest ice dome on the Antarctic Plateau, located inland. It is thought to be the coldest naturally occurring place on Earth; with temperatures believed to reach to . It is the highest ice feature in Antarctica, c ...
and
Dome F Image:Antarctica base(Japan) English ver.png, 275px, Japanese Antarctica Stations Dome Fuji (ドームふじ ''Dōmu Fuji''), also called Dome F or Valkyrie Dome, is an Antarctic base located in the eastern part of Queen Maud Land at . With an al ...
in August 2010). Mean annual temperature at the South Pole is –49.5 °C (–57.1 °F). The South Pole has an
ice cap climate upright=1.4, Effect of Sun angle on climate, Solar radiation has a lower intensity in polar regions because it travels a longer distance through the atmosphere, and is also spread across a larger surface area due to its oblique angle of approach. A ...
(
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
'' EF''). It resembles a desert, receiving very little precipitation. Air humidity is near zero. However, high winds can cause the blowing of snowfall, and the accumulation of snow amounts to about 7 cm (2.8 in) per year.Initial environmental evaluation – development of blue-ice and compacted-snow runways
National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, 9 April 1993
The former dome seen in pictures of the Amundsen–Scott station is partially buried due to snow storms, and the entrance to the dome had to be regularly bulldozed to uncover it. More recent buildings are raised on stilts so that the snow does not build up against their sides.


Time

In most places on Earth, local time is determined by
longitude Longitude (, ) is a geographic coordinate A geographic coordinate system (GCS) is a coordinate system associated with position (geometry), positions on Earth (geographic position). A GCS can give positions: *as Geodetic coordinates, ...

longitude
, such that the time of day is more-or-less synchronised to the position of the sun in the sky (for example, at midday the sun is roughly at its highest). This line of reasoning fails at the South Pole, where the sun rises and sets only once per year with solar elevation varying only with day of the year, not time of day, because there are more than 24 time zones in the world, however, they all meet up at the South Pole, meaning it can be any hour, any minute, any second at the South Pole. There is no ''
a priori ''A priori'' and ''a posteriori'' ('from the earlier' and 'from the later', respectively) are Latin phrases used in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaph ...
'' reason for placing the South Pole in any particular time zone, but as a matter of practical convenience the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station keeps New Zealand Time (UTC+12/UTC+13). This is because the US flies its resupply missions ("
Operation Deep Freeze Operation Deep Freeze (OpDFrz or ODF) is codename for a series of United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in No ...
") out of
McMurdo Station McMurdo Station is a United States Antarctica, Antarctic Research stations in Antarctica, research station on the south tip of Ross Island, which is in the New Zealand–claimed Ross Dependency on the shore of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. It is ...

McMurdo Station
, which is supplied from
Christchurch Christchurch ( ; mi, Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury, New Zealand, Canterbury Region. Christchurch lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula on Pegas ...

Christchurch
, New Zealand.


Flora and fauna

Due to its exceptionally harsh climate, there are no native resident plants or animals at the South Pole. Off-course
south polar skua The south polar skua (''Stercorarius maccormicki'') is a large seabird Seabirds (also known as marine birds) are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feath ...

south polar skua
s and
snow petrel The snow petrel (''Pagodroma nivea'') is the only member of the genus ''Pagodroma.'' It is one of only three birds that has been seen at the Geographic South Pole The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial So ...
s are occasionally seen there. In 2000 it was reported that
microbe A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s had been detected living in the South Pole ice. Scientists published in the journal ''
Gondwana Research ''Gondwana Research'' is a peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a professio ...
'' that evidence had been found of to protect the animals from the extreme cold. The
fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inc ...

fossil
s had been found over 100 years ago in Koonwarra, Australia, but in
sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by the action of wind, water, or ice or by the force of gravity acting on the particles. ...

sediment
which had accumulated under a lake which had been near to the South Pole millions of years ago.


See also

*
List of Antarctic expeditions This list of Antarctic expeditions is a chronological list of expeditions involving Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southe ...
*
South Pole Telescope The South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a diameter telescope located at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station The Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station is the United States scientific research station at the South Pole The South Pole, al ...


References


External links


NOAA South Pole Webcam

360° Panoramas of the South Pole

Images of this location
are available at the Degree Confluence Project
South Pole Photo Gallery

Poles
by the Australian Antarctic Division
The Antarctic Sun
nbsp;– Online news source for the U.S. Antarctic Program
Big Dead Place

UK team makes polar trek history
nbsp;– BBC News article on first expedition to Pole of Inaccessibility without mechanical assistance * Listen to Ernest Shackleton describing his 190
South Pole Expedition
and read more about the recording on ustralianscreen online * The recording describing Shackleton's 1908 South Pole Expedition was added to the
National Film and Sound Archive The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), known as ScreenSound Australia from 1999 to 2004, is Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainlan ...

National Film and Sound Archive
's
Sounds of Australia The Sounds of Australia, formerly the National Registry of Recorded Sound, is the National Film and Sound Archive's selection of sound recordings which are deemed to have cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and relevance for Australia ...
registry in 2007 {{Authority control East Antarctica Extreme points of Earth Geography of Antarctica Polar regions of the Earth Historic Sites and Monuments of Antarctica