For the past two weeks, Prince Harry and a team of adventurers that include actors Aleksander Skarsgard and Dominic West, as well as a group of injured soldiers, have been trekking through chilly climes in Antarctica as part of the 200-mile Walking with the Wounded South Pole Challenge. He arrived at his destination on Friday, Dec. 13.
While the prince had journeyed through the extreme, snowy geography once before, in 2011, many people are unfamiliar with the southernmost region of the world.
Here are 5 Cool Facts About the South Pole, gleaned from the National Science Foundation:
- Experts believe that Antarctica contains 90 percent of the planet's ice.
- In East Antarctica, ice can average a thickness of 1.2 miles.
- Though the ice would seem to indicate otherwise, Antarctica is technically classified as a desert due to the low quantities of moisture released from the sky.
- Seasons in Antarctica run in reverse to how they occur up north. Summer takes place between October and February, with winter dominating the rest of the year.
- There are no trees or bushes in Antarctica, just mosslike vegetation. Likewise, no non-native species are allowed to be taken there. But penguins, whales and seals live in and around the area.