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Iceberg in the Ross Sea, Antarctica
Iceberg in the Ross Sea, Antarctica (© Michel Roggo/Minden Pictures)
A very cool place
The windiest, coldest, driest and fifth-largest continent on Earth—Antarctica—was discovered in 1820. It is Earth's southernmost continent and a pristine and forbidding wilderness, often referred to as the world's last true frontier. From suspended clouds of ice crystals to a subglacial, iron oxide-rich lake that flows blood-red, this polar desert is full of natural wonders. Its massive ice sheet stores about 70% of the world's fresh water. If it were to melt entirely, it could raise sea levels by over 200 feet, threatening low-lying regions worldwide. The infamous ozone layer hole is located above Antarctica, but thanks to global efforts, it is on track to close within the next 20 years.
© Michel Roggo/Minden Pictures