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Basic Facts

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Official Country Name: Antarctica
Capital: None
Population: Approx. 4000 summer, 1000 winter distributed throughout 38 research stations, numerous field camps, and several research vessels. The largest station is the USA's McMurdo Station on Ross Island, with a summer population of over 1,000.
Telephone Code: 672; via satellite (mobile Inmarsat and Iridium system) from some research stations Time Zone: varies station to station, most use home country's time. McMurdo is on New Zealand time (GMT+12) Area: 14 million sq km (280,000 sq km ice-free, 13.72 million sq km ice-covered)
Language(s): Varies by station
Ethnic Groups: Varies by station
Highest Mountain: Vinson Massif 4,897 m
President/Head of State: none
Government: Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty Antarctic Treaty Summary - the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica; the 27th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting was held in Cape Town, South Africa in May-June 2004; at these periodic meetings, decisions are made by consensus (not by vote) of all consultative member nations; at the end of 2003, there were 45 treaty member nations: 28 consultative and 17 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 21 non-claimant nations; the US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims; the US does not recognize the claims of others; Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative member nations; decisions from these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws.
Currency: Varies by station
Health Risks: Frostbite, dehydration, altitude sickness, high winds.
Electricity: Varies by station
Weights & Measures: Varies by station
Country Name in other languages: Antarctis


Edited bybassdrumben on 15.01.2006

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