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Antarctica

From Openwaterpedia
The Antarctic continent
Antarctica 2020, a series of ice swimming challenges and environmental swims inside the Antarctic Circle (66°33′46.5″ south) to celebrate Lynne Cox's pioneering Antarctica 1.7 km swim in Neko Bay in 2002 and to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen
12-16 ice swimmers will attempt the IISA Ice KM Swim in the Antarctica Off The Beaten Track Expedition in November 2018
Lewis Pugh swimming in the Southern Ocean in Antarctica
Lewis Pugh swimming in the Bay of Whales in Antarctica
Jaimie Monahan, extreme swimmer, stepping into Paradise Harbour in Antarctica in 2015. Photo by Arik Thormahlen
Jaimie Monahan, extreme swimmer, stepping into Paradise Harbour in Antarctica in 2015. Photo by Arik Thormahlen
Locations of the Ice Sevens swims around the world, including the Southern Ocean, governed and ratified by the International Ice Swimming Association
Ram Barkai, swimming in Antarctica

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, encapsulating the South Pole. It is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14.0 million km2 (5.4 million sq mi), it is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages at least 1 mile (1.6 km) in thickness.

Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 inches) along the coast and far less inland. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89 °C (−129 °F). There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Only cold-adapted organisms survive there, including many types of algae, animals (for example mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades), bacteria, fungi, plants, and protista. Vegetation where it occurs is tundra.

History

Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolation.

The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by 12 countries; to date, 47 countries have signed the treaty. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear power, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's eco-zone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.

Open Water Swimming in Antarctica

Continents Seven

Antarctica is part of Continents Seven, a series of 7 different solo open water swims that is completed in all of the seven continents of Planet Earth either (1) within one year, or (2) over the course of one's career. The 7 different open water swims must be performed on all the world's main continuous expanses of land: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia (or Oceania), Europe, North America, and South America.

Videos

Antarctica Ice Kilometer Swim


Heading through the Southern Ocean en route to Antarctica to the Antarctica Ice Kilometer Swim

33-year-old Samantha Whelpton of South Africa successfully competes in the Antarctica Ice Kilometer Swim held on 23 November 2018 in Port Lockroy along the Antarctic Peninsula together with 41-year-old Alexander Brylin of Russia, 55-year-old Yunfeng Wang of China, 44-year-old Leszek Naziemiec of Poland, 52-year-old Paolo Chiarino of Italy, 54-year-old Andrey Agarkov of Russia, and 51-year-old Sergio Salomone of Argentina.
45-year-old Clinton Le Sueur of South Africa, 37-year-old Diego López Dominguez of Spain, 42-year-old Wyatt Song of Australia, 42-year-old Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, 25-year-old Victoria Mori of Argentina, 46-year-old Madswimmer founder Jean Craven of South Africa, and the 61-year-old International Ice Swimming Association founder Ram Barkai of South Africa completed the Antarctica Ice Kilometer Swim in Mikkelsen Bay in the Southern Ocean along the Antarctic Peninsula on 25 November 2018.

Diego López Dominguez, the Global Swimmer, completing the Antarctica Ice Kilometer Swim in Mikkelsen Bay in the Southern Ocean along the Antarctic Peninsula on 25 November 2018 together with Clinton Le Sueur of South Africa, Wyatt Song of Australia, Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria, Victoria Mori of Argentina, Jean Craven of South Africa, and Ram Barkai of South Africa in -1.2°C water.

Lewis Pugh East Antarctica Swim


Antarctica Polar Zero Ice Mile


Ger Kennedy completed a Polar Zero Ice Mile in 0.5ºC water and 2.0ºC air temperature in Paradise Bay, Antarctica in February 2020.

2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination

Antarctica was site of the Antarctica 2020 International Swim that was nominated for the 2020 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year category with the following nomination: The Southern Ocean is at the bottom of the world surrounding the continent of Antarctica. Inhospitable to humans, but remarkably, Ger Kennedy organized a series of ice swims accessible around the ice-covered tundra to some of the most hardened ice swimmers on the planet. Antarctica 2020 International Swim was held inside the Antarctic Circle to celebrate Lynne Cox's pioneering Antarctica swim in 2002 and enable people to swim short distances or Polar Ice Miles. From Argentina, the Polar Swimming Quest set off by ship and stopped in the Bellingshausen Sea and the Weddell Sea over a few weeks. 12 swimmers entered the cold waters of Antarctica with bioprene only with three major swims safely recorded. Paul Eugen Dorin Georgescu set a world record in Hanusse Bay in 0.0°C water with 22 minute 44 second Zero Ice Mile. Two days later, Ger Kennedy swam another Zero Ice Mile in Paradise Bay in 0.53°C water and -1.10°C air in 34 minutes 2 seconds, and Cath Pendleton followed up 10 days later in Hanusse Bay with a 32:54 Zero Ice Mile in 0.03°C water and -3.2°C air. For safely organizing swims by Kathryn Pratschke, Redy Redfern, Dee Newell, Jane Hardy, Tiffiny Quinn, Michelle White, Una Campbell, Martina Ring, Anne O'Donovan, Matías Ola, and Alice Kelliher in Antarctica with the help of Sean Cullen and Dimcea Lulian Zamfir, for encouraging marine conservation awareness while encountering challenging conditions, and for enabling the extension of the known physical boundaries for everyone involved, the Antarctica 2020 International Swim by Ger Kennedy is a worthy nominee for the 2020 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

External links