Since Antarctica is so far away and inaccessible, most people have many misconceptions about how big and significant it really is. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. There are no permanent residents on it, but anywhere from 1.000 to 5.000 may temporarily reside, scattered across the continent.

Seen above is a view of the Earth on September 21, 2005 – this is a composite image; due to the position of Antarctica in relation to our Sun it would not look like this to the naked eye – this is how it would look like if it were fully illuminated.

Here are other, similar images, for comparison and perspective.

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