Antarctica Lesson for Kids: Facts & Weather

Instructor: Dina Albert
Where would you like to go on vacation? Hawaii? Alaska? How about Antarctica? Yes, it's cold there, but in this lesson you will learn about some of the things that make Antarctica amazing and unique.

Where is Antarctica?

Antarctica is a continent, a large amount of land surrounded by water. It is 5.4 million square feet, which is quite a bit larger than the United States (which is only 3.6 million square feet), and is in the southern part of the globe.

The continent is separated into two regions by the Transantarctic Mountains: East Antarctica and West Antarctica.

Weather and Climate in Antarctica

It might be surprising to hear that this continent is considered a desert, which means it's a place that gets very little moisture. But there are no sand dunes, cacti or rattlesnakes. Mainly it is flat ice and glaciers, with only moss and algae that grows there. It also has two active volcanoes.

A view of Antarctica from space. Under all of that snow and ice is a desert environment.

It is so cold in Antarctica that nobody actually lives there, although there are visiting scientists from all over the world at any given time of the year. If you do travel to Antarctica, be sure to pack extra warm clothes. The temperature can drop to -128 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what time of year you visit.

Because Antarctica is in the southern hemisphere (the half of the Earth below the equator), you'll want to plan your visit for our wintertime, as it will be summer down in Antarctica and a balmy -18 degrees!

When you're there make sure to admire the large icebergs, which are huge chunks of ice that break off from glaciers. The chunks of ice are made from the freezing temperatures that pack the snow together.

An iceberg

But don't let the weather get in the way of you exploring this continent. You'd miss out on so many wonderful animals.

Antarctica Wildlife

There are no land mammals in Antarctica, but that doesn't mean there is no wildlife. On the contrary: one animal you might see there that you would recognize is the emperor penguin. You might know them as the penguins from the movie, Happy Feet.

There are also lots of different types of seals. You might see Weddell seals or leopard seals (because they are spotted like a leopard) lounging on the ice or in the water. If you're interested in whales then you're in luck, because Antarctica is home to killer whales, blue whales, and humpback whales (just to name a few).

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account